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February 8 Calendar Entry

Poetry is such a lovely way to express feelings towards plants. I love this poem about Cottonwoods by Ed Blair:

The Planting of the Cottonwood Tree

The building of the cabin home,
The planting of the trees,
The breaking of the virgin soil__
What tender memories!
What stories, told of other days,
Come drifting back to me,
I think this one the best of all,
The planting of this tree.

A little sprout she carried there
When first the home was bought,
For mother said “a treeless home
Was such a lonely spot.”
And by the door where summer’s breeze
Would tune its leaves to song
She planted it and nourished till
Its roots grew firm and strong.

Dear cottonwood, so lovely then,
How wide and tall it grew.
What joy to those long absent when
Its top first came to view!
A sentinel it seemed to be
That stood majestic there,
And guarded those who dwelt within
That dear old home so fair.

‘Twas mother’s tree! And it has stood
For thirty years or more,
Where loving hands had planted it
Beside that cottage door.
The song-birds came and nested there,
And ‘neath its cooling shade,
The boys and girls that blessed the home
Their first playhouses made.

Here is the poem I wrote about gathering Cottonwood:

Down by the river, way up high,

The branches of the cottonwood creak and sigh.

Winter’s storm passing through,

Causes her to lose a bud, quite a few.

An herbwife, her son and daughter too,

Are there to harvest, they’ve got work to do.

They’ll use the buds to make a salve,

A healing medicine they will have.

But first, to gather by the bank,

To the tree they stop and thank.

They’ll gather the buds and twigs of grey,

To take home and process later that day.

I’d love to see any poems you’ve written about Cottonwood. Share them in the comments!


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