Poets Walk: "When I Am"

Poets Walk: "When I am"

Location on Poets Walk Map: Band D


When I am a Tree by Susan Deer-Cloud


When I am a tree it is always October, my birth month.

And it is Catskills, where I was born and grew up.

When I am a tree, I am all blaze in the arms of my branches,

garnet and gold.  When I am a tree I am filled with eagles,

the sky is one of those autumn blues, no clouds

the hue of winter.  When I am a tree

and the roots of me feel a sky-eyed Indian man

walking fox-like on earth, making the sap of me

tremble delicately at his approach, I am all leaves,

all rustle in breeze, all song waiting to be hugged

when I am a tree.


Susan Deer Cloud, "When I am a Tree," from The Last Ceremony (Foothills, 2007). Used by permission of the author.