The Tree That Dares to Question

A thousand trees, so self-assured,
They think with confidence
They know all answers,
Growing righteously
And pointing arrow-like to heaven.
Yet the humble mountain hemlock
Grow not straight, not true,
So philosophical in character,
With treetop never stiff
That’s bending downward in a gracious rainbow curve
Suggesting question marks.

The hemlock is the mountain sage,
Posing questions to eternity
About existence, nature and life’s deepest meanings.
Nonetheless, responses languish nil, opaque or nonexistent.
Now we watch with grainy patience,
Hoping that one morn
Their question marks turn resolutely skyward,
And the hemlocks, fully briefed,
Stand straight with tops that point
With fervor toward the zenith.
---High Sierra, California

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