The Acorn

You walked through
the school gate with hesitation:
a blank page with your name scrawled
crookedly in the corner.

An acorn planted in fertile soil,
you germinated.
Bursting through that constricting shell
too small for you to grow,
you poked through the soft earth,
a tender shoot reaching for the sun.

As your shoots headed for the sun,
your roots tunneled deep
towards the very centre of the earth
soaking up the spring rains
and you flourished.
Anchored to the ground,
reaching for the sky,
you were firmly planted.

At least,
that was in my dreams.
Sadly, even a fruitful journey
is full of storms and contradictions
and even blue skies burn.

I watched your leaves
change colour with the seasons;
their illuminated palette glowing
like stained-glass windows
backlit by the glorious sun
and bare sticks persevering
through another winter’s chill.

I shielded your tender stems
against those howling, winter winds
and quenched your insatiable thirst
all summer long.

At first,
I always held on tight,
holding your hand,
paving the way
trying to teach you
everything I knew.

But then…
little by little,
I let go…
just enough
for you to grow.
For I knew one day
you would have to stand alone.

DSC_8646

II
I don’t know who played
cruel tricks with the clock
and even meddled
with the very hands of time
but you’re no longer a sapling.
You’ve become a tree,
even growing acorns of your own
and I don’t know where
all those years have gone
or how to get them back.

Oak Tree, Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Oak Tree, Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Anchored to the soil
through your enormous trunk,
your mighty branches now
stretch right across the sky
with strength, persistence and endurance,
through sunshine and rain,
providing homes to the multitudes.
Birds build their nests
singing great morning choruses
as ants march up and down
carrying bulging loads with great intent.
Children build cubby houses
climbing towards the sun
laughing and having fun
while you smile proud,
oozing with life and love.

I am so proud
of all you’ve become!

III

DSC_8650

Now, it is I who needs
your strength
as my leaves change colour
falling to the ground.
Slowly but surely,
the colours wear away
until only the veins remain
and you are helping me
across the road instead.

DSC_8711

I don’t want to go
but we each reach
the end of this road.
and as the cycle goes on,
the oaks need to leave room
for the acorns to grow.

IV

You entered the gate a boy…
a blank page
with your name
scrawled crookedly
in the corner
but now you’ve emerged…

a man.

On 17th December, 2009 I wrote the very first version of this poem. It was the day after our son finished his first year at school and he was still only 5 years old. I had been struck by how far he had come in that year. When he arrived, all he could do was scrawl his name in the corner of a big, blank sheet of paper but by the end of that year, he was writing tentative sentences and was reading quite well, even if sitting still and concentration weren’t his thing.

I have reworked the poem many times since then and have even extensively reworked it today.

Mother & Son played by actors Ruth Cracknell & Garry McDonald.

Mother & Son played by actors Ruth Cracknell & Garry McDonald.

The relationship between mother and son weaves its way throughout the poem, which reminds of of a favourite show: Mother & Son, staring Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald. I don’t kno whether you’d describe it as a comedy or a tragedy but Mum in the story has dementia and Garry McDonald plays her middle-aged divorced son who is still living with Mum but probably not by choice.

Mother & Son
: “The Funeral” clip: http://aso.gov.au/titles/tv/mother-and-son-funeral/clip1/

Time has certainly flown past. He is now 11 years old and is in Year 6…his last year at Primary School. Next year, he’ll be passing through a different gate when he goes off to High School. His journey hasn’t progressed as smoothly as the fairly idealistic path depicted in the poem and life hasn’t been smooth sailing but he is finding real maturity now and growing up inside as well as in terms of height. We are very proud of him!!

This poem remains a work in progress and I wonder if it will ever be finished.

However, I wanted to share it with you.

Moreover, today is 1st April and the beginning of the Blogging From A-Z Challenge which takes place in April each year. This is the first time I’ve participated and I’m a little bit daunted about tackling the technical side of it all but sometimes, you just have to hurl yourself straight off a cliff and keep running!!

Love & Best wishes,
Rowena

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.

19 thoughts on “The Acorn

  1. kcg1974

    I loved this poem, Roweena. Lovely lines depicting cycles of life Excellent! Blessings to you and your family this Easter week.

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Kath. I’ve been writing poetry quite seriously for years and used to do readings etc at uni and in my 20s but since I’ve been doing the blog, it’s backed off quite a lot. I have actually been quite encouraged to see some of the views on my poems that I have posted but so many of them keep changing and I’m not quite ready to put them out there. Perhps, that c an be something for next term. I am dfinitely wanting to consolidfate and finish off a few things.
    I hope you are your family have a wonderful Easter and the holidays go well. Best wishes, Ro

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Merril. This is the first time I’ve done this so it’s going to be interesting. Some people have a theme but I wanted to make it ecclectic. It will defintely be including a few of my favourite things!! I hope your Passover plans are going well and you have a wonderful time with family and friends xx Rowena

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Bruce. I’m interested to see where this all ends up. I’m writing about one of my favourite holiday spots, Byron Bay today. It’s amazing post-hippy town where you can expect the unexpected. xx Rowena

  5. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Kim. I have been thinking of you and felt you with me over the last couple of weeks as we’re been taking our daughter to various doctors and tests to find out why she doesn’t eat and to improve her health. It’s been quite a rollercoaster but fortunately, is looking more like a storm in a tea cup. I’ve written a few posts about it before the Acorn. Turns out she has mild delayed gastric emptying and no signs of coeliac or diabetes. These were both serious concerns so I am becoming relieved. She is has been eating less than 500 calories on an average day and should be having around 1800. She’s on a food replacement drink and an appetitie stimulant so we’re hopefully on the right track now. I know you’ve been through this with your son so would appreciate our concerns.
    Hopefully, things will be looking up over Easter and we wish you and yours a Blessed Easter. I’m thinking I might have gone a little overboard with the eggs! xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Monika. We’re on school holidays here so that could prove challenging…especially with accessing my photos. I’m sure there are participants who have already done their list of A-Z and I am getting there and due to the holidays, am having to plan ahead…not one of my strengths!! Wishing you a Happy & Blessed Easter!! Love, Rowena

  7. kcg1974

    Dear Roweena, forgive me for not writing as I wanted to spend more time. First of all, I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through with your daughter. Not much worse in life than to have a sick child. Only 500 hundred calories a day is unimaginable. You must have been going out of our mind with worry about her. I’m sure she lost a lot of weight which is so scary for anyone, but particularly when it is your child. I am thankful that nothing as serious as the conditions you mentioned were found and that the doctors are treating her with something to help her eat. It may take a while, but I bet she will get there. Please let me know how she’s doing every once in a while, Roweena. I’ll be praying for her and just know in my heart that she is in good hands. All my blessings to you and your family for a happy, HEALTHY Easter. With love to you. Kim

  8. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Kim. The thing with Miss is that she’s never eaten much and she’s always been very underweight so she’s stayed on the same trajectory and it’s been interpreted as who she is. I wasn’t quite so sure and that’s when I started counting calories and looking those up and realised she really wasn’t getting adequate nutrition. As much as you don’t want to get overloaded with Google searches etc, you still need to be well informed to be an effective advocate for your child. Thankfully, we’re now heading the right direction and most of the time she is coming onboard. She wants to grow and put on some weight so that’s half the battle. Will keep you posted. Hope you have a happy and blessed Easter Love and blessings, Ro

  9. Pingback: WordPressers Taking Up the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge | beyondtheflow

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