Inner Landscape

Inner Landscape

©2013 by Alice Walker

For S and C


We have not seen each other

in over a decade; 

your son is very tall, you say,

your daughter, learning

to ride horses.

Later, savoring our chance meeting

in the local ice cream store

I look about the land

and see evidence of your helpfulness


the big sister

Sycamore tree

the one that remains of three saplings

you brought to my housewarming

on such a big truck

now shades, even shadows

my house.

The slope above the pond

that you planted with trees

is now a forest

that keeps the hillside

from sliding down.

The pond

that leaked so mysteriously

 is now stable and shining;

 I swim there each day

while dreaming of walnuts

 and pecans

and persimmons

and grapes

still to come

in due season.


Today you send to my house

boxes of peaches,

cartons of blueberries

a shocking abundance!

My guests

who have never known the peach

as I grew up knowing it

in Georgia

are mesmerized by the sight

the scent

the texture

the flavor

of each one they sink

happy teeth


We lie about in ecstasy


our delight.


Thank you, my friends,


so many years ago,

 brought back to me

from sobering


a solitary small tree

from far away

and very troubled


It stands tall now

 in a circle

of wisteria



and a wispy plant with

crimson plumes

whose name

I cannot

at this moment

recall.  Though I always think

of you

when I see it.


This tree,

so far from its home

 reminds me

of neighbors,

of friends,

of the welcome we can

sometimes be

for each other

or  find

among strangers;

the welcome of simple

planting, and digging,


sharing whatever

in the world


is going on


treasuring the delicious

of an unexpected

 moment of happiness

that changes the inner landscape




Recommended:  “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles