Family Tree

Comes a moment
when a child’s empathy is tested.
Like heavy snow on the slenderest branch
you hope for deep bend, no cracking.
You should have known
there’s nothing brittle about her.
You watch her choose the right
but painful thing,
swelling with tears to near-burst
but she does not break.
She is pliable; she is green.
And mama, you too must bend.
What do you choose in the face of her tears?
You are the oak.
Describe your pride, your weathering,
your wonder at her strength, then
join her in sorrow.

Dear Corey asked the Real Toads to write about a time when we did not know how to feel about what was happening. It’s #28 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans.


  1. This is authentic, emotive and beautiful...I love your use if trees fro both imagery and depiction of strength. ♥

  2. This poem speaks of those times between parent and child which are so painful as to defy description. Thank you for this one. Maybe my final favourite of November!

    1. thank you for following along this month, Kerry! now it's Sunday, one more to go. hmmmmmm.

  3. His different a child handle grief. The bending branch works so well. Young and bendable vs hard and tough.. But come a storm and the sapling stand and old oak falls

  4. Love this analogy such an emotional write.

  5. We can only stand and marvel at such a moment, and then join her. Gorgeous descrition.

  6. Wow babyluv....that is amazing. Had me choking up. It's amazing what those young ones are made of. Sounds like you are doing good by them....just sayin' . Great writing Marian, thanks for playing!

    1. xoxo i think actually a lot of my poems are on topic for your prompt. i mean, you pick at the moments that are hard to understand, and you write about them. right?

  7. Gorgeous, could apply to each of us as members of society as well.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!