Make a Tree Good – a poem by Ryan Keating

Make a Tree Good

Make a tree good 
and its fruit will be good…
Matthew 12:33


I am tempted to staple a fig
To the branch from which is has fallen
Unburied brown in piles of failed fruit
That cover the shame of shallow roots
Turn the flat bruised side toward the trunk
Wipe it clean and shake off the tan worm
Paint it purple with faded green spots
Spray it with a fruit essence perfume
Keep it moist and sterile, sanitized
Step further back and admire the work
Because I am afraid I don’t know how
To make a tree good.


Sure, why not make it good
And make it well
Sink the roots deep 
And write the plot thick
Keep it secure
Commercial free
And incorruptible
Of shade but not dark
On a hill but not steep
Cured and decanted
With soft contours
And clean lines
But free flowing
Fresh, fertile
Intricate, durable
Inspired in season
With lots of pockets?

That might be a harvest
Worth waiting for.

Ryan Keating is a pastor, writer, winemaker and coffee roaster on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review (forthcoming), Ekstasis Magazine, Agape Review, and Miras Dergi, where he is a regular contributor in English and Turkish.

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