Over the next few posts, I will serialize one of my tree poems. This tree poem is a puzzle, too, like my poem An Ancient Riddle Found Standing in the Backyard.
I live on the sides of mountains
in filtered sun, sheltering under the shade
of trees alive with the sound of songbirds
that visit me from the North.
Avocados, banana, jackbean, red-seeded sword bean,
earth nut and monkey nut live alongside me.
I never stray from the Equator.
I call Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Guatemala,
and Ecuador my home, and lately, Vietnam
but my roots are Ethiopian and Yemeni.
Arab traders carried me to their homelands
With me, created rituals for well-being,
prosperity and the nourishment of friendship.
Imams tended me carefully in their gardens,
guarding me like a secret.
In return, I danced through their veins,
keeping them awake for night prayers.
In Mecca, the Sultan declared me sacred,
but in Turkey, I was grounds for divorce
if a husband failed to offer me daily
to his wife.