Sapling in the Woods (A Poem)

Beneath my feet are crunching leaves, martyrs to the world’s law,  And above me the canopy, shaking leafy branches in a tribal dance, Like a million green eyelashes in the sky’s eyes  Nobody is listening. The gnarled limbs of the trees spread to claim the sky  Gather the sun like gold, loot, I look up to them Like greedy kings. Crouching in wonder at the feet of these tyrants, listen carefully to the sound of leaves whispering in the breeze, saying soft first words on earth.  From the cold bed of the jungle floor tiny shoots peek through their wooden chambers with the sweetness of a child, peering from behind the curtains shy, curious, drawn to the colourful show.   Onwards they grow, leaving the warm clasp of home – daring  to absorb the sun and its boundless kingdom.  Never complaining, the small pads of their leaves  unfurl like miniature flags Never losing the hunger for light Soaking the small stripes and flecks that filter into its open palms.  The seed does not question the silent Work of pushing feeble roots into the worn earth. Is it celebration?  Is it tragedy, the merciless struggle for survival?  The questions of a human, once again trying to believe that butterflies emerge from cocoons and great trees from humble seeds and once again remembering that life can go on. By Shreya Manna (c)

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