In the side yard near the water,
Is where they planted me,
In front of Amy's window,
They said I'd be her tree.
I was as young as she was,
A tender sapling then,
A weakling, needing props,
Hardly more than just a stem.
The first year I wasn't much to see,
Like Amy, I was small,
But by the next year, we both had grown,
And I was getting tall.
The third year I shot straight up,
And had many rich green leaves,
Amy played within my shade,
And both of us were pleased.
I grew stronger every year,
And so did Amy, too,
Thus by the time we both reached six,
There were more things we could do.
For instance, I had a perfect branch,
That was just right to hang a swing,
Amy thought that that was neat,
And she would swing like she had wings.
When she was seven or eight, I think,
Was when she liked to climb me,
"Her tomboy stage," her mother said,
My Amy - tough and tiny.
When Amy learned to read,
She often read aloud,
While curled up against my trunk,
And I felt very proud.
At twelve she took an art class,
She looked at me and drew,
Her teacher said she drew me well,
And that made me happy, too.
She also studied photosynthesis,
And learned why my leaves are green,
She took samples of me into class,
I was delighted to be seen.
At fourteen she and her girlfriends
Sat in my shade and talked,
I overheard their secrets,
Which are forever in me locked.
At sixteen Amy's shy, first kiss
Was shadowed by my limbs,
Such a grown-up lady now,
My heart tugged within.
Then Amy went away to school,
For four years she was gone,
She did come home on holidays,
But her time away seemed long.
I was always glad to have her home,
Though she spent little time with me,
But, I could watch her come and go,
Such a joy for me to see.
Then big news - Amy, getting married,
An outdoor wedding planned,
The preacher and the bride and groom
Beneath my boughs would stand.
Over twenty years I'd stood here,
And many storms had made me tough,
But seeing Amy wave good-bye,
For me was just too much.
This old heart was broken,
Trees can hurt, you know,
No one knew the pain I felt,
When I saw Amy go.
I loved the birds up in my leaves,
And the squirrels on my trunk,
But Amy's empty, hanging swing
Put me in an awful funk.
My branches drooped; my bark grew gray,
Winds almost bent me double,
My leaves of green had lost their sheen,
And from my limbs, they tumbled.
Folks thought I was diseased,
They had me sprayed and trimmed,
They knew not about the broken heart,
That lay buried deep within.
But I perked up and did my best,
I made an effort to survive,
One can exist with a broken heart,
And it seems I did not die.
For four more years I did the things
That trees are s'posed to do,
Shelter birds and animals,
And make shade for humans, too.
Then one day a strange car pulled up,
And parked along my side,
Two kids jumped out, ran up the walk,
And there was Amy, smiling wide.
Ah, my precious Amy girl,
Quivering, I shook my leaves,
She had brought her babies home,
Her husband gone now overseas.
They put new ropes on Amy's swing,
For her little girl and boy,
Amy pushed each child in turn,
You have no idea, my joy.
Amy pushed till she was breathless,
She had to lean on me to breathe,
She laughed; the kiddies giggled,
Again, I shook my leaves.
I'm not just a pretty face
You know, I still am Amy's tree,
And I'm here to tell you now,
How special Amy is to me.
If I live to be one hundred,
Four generations could cross my path,
A bit of Amy in each one,
And I'll still be here in her behalf.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright September 2003 ~ Revised July 2005