O Lord, Make Me a Seed

I was born

Of a European Yew.

Its mighty bough had grown

Twisted and encrusted

With moss

In the garden of my great-great grandfather.

As he left his house for the final time

He picked a bright seed from its burdened limb

And stepped acr   oss the gangplank

To America


When this gardener had arrived

To the California coast

He bought a small house

Like his house in Belgium

And planted the seed

In his front yard.

Each year he

Went to school

The conifer grew a little taller

Watered by his hand, just as he

Was watered by the hand of

Frank Lloyd Wright.

So, when the blooms came out

He was a landscape architect


Years later

He begat a son

Who tried to climb the yew each and

Every day.

My great-great grandfather

Would hoist his son up to the branches

From the vantage point

Where great grandpa could see

All of California spread out

Before him

So, after years of diligent study and work,

He climbed to the

Top all on his own

And stayed there as

A chemical engineer.


My grandfather liked to climb the tree as well.

He would climb up

Into the speckled foliage

And squirm to the tip of the branch.

From there he could look out

And spy the silent movements

Of Russian intelligence

And hear the ciphered chatter

Of military logistics

Over the blood-curdling

Cold War sirens.

But when his parachute hit ground

For the last time

He exchanged special agent

For insurance agent

And now diligently assists those folks

Who might fall out of their own trees.


But my father never climbed.

He had tried once

And when he had achieved just

A glimpse of what lies beyond

He sat under the shade, picking

Berries from the overhanging branches

Dreaming of life at the top.

Perhaps it was rebellion



Finds him behind the wheel

Of a taxi cab


And now…

I am here.

The tree reaches from coast to coast

And I sit on its gnarly roots



I watch

Up the twisted bough

Down the long limbs

And into the reaching fingers of


And bright red seeds

                                Insurance Agent
                                                           Taxi Driver

What comes next

In this tumbling pattern?


Shall I

Flutter off

Like countless leaves

To shrivel in the cold?

Am I condemned

To climb to the top

Of a broken tree

To spy the paths of my forefathers?

Will I, unaware

Eat of the fruit

That is bright and sweet

Containing a seed that is

Bitter poison?



Am I the seed

Carried up by a bird

To drop unsuspecting

On rich soil

To make something new

To grow and to bloom

Tended by the hands of God

For those who follow.


O Lord

Make me a seed!


This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 



I'm graduating this year. As I look back to an unsettling past and out into the murky future my stomach grows sick with frightful uncertainty. Am I the next step down a declining family line, or will God make me a miraculous seed who brings new life to my family?

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