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.