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  • Ryan Hopkins

sometimes i wonder what a tree would say if it could talk

Sometimes I wonder what a tree would say if it could talk.

Would it speak in reverence towards my ancestors, whose calloused hands toiled at the ground in which it grew from?

Would the tree thank them for allowing generations to reap the fruits of their labor?

Would it wail in pain for the strange fruit who swung from it, their memory a postcard crumpled in the back of your grandmother’s drawer?

Would its roots solemnly greet the bodies of my peers who have become their fertilizer?

If it fell in the woods and no one was around to hear it, who would speak of its pain?

Who is to carry the history of these roots that have intermingled with black flesh for generations?

Who can uproot these horrors whose grasp clinches stronger each day?


If a tree could talk, would it denounce you for being silent?


But alas, a mighty tree is just that: a tree. Its bark cannot speak to our pain.

Its leaves do not fall as tears for our struggle.

Its branches do not crack because it hurts with us.

Its roots do not wither because it’s ashamed of its role.


Sometimes I wonder what a tree would say if it could talk,

But the tree remains silent,

For no choice of its own.

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