xylem and phloem

Loyola House Feb 2012 020“A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by her genius what she can make of it.”

St. Ignatius (1491-1556)

if i were a tree-trunk,
i would stiffen the molecules of my ringed inner core
and repel the penetrating strike of your chisel.

if i were a thick and shapeless trunk,
i would reinforce the xylem and phloem
of my woody bones,
and i would challenge your genius
to find any finer way to feed my growth.

if i were a tree,
among other trees in the wood,
tangled and intertwined together
in a web of my brother Plant’s roots
and my sister Rodent’s tunnels,
i would say,
i want none of your workshop table.

i would resist your desire
to immortalize my frame at the Louvre.

i would care nothing
about the miracle work of your imaginative mind and creative genius.

but i —

i am a human.

and i am caught between what i know
and what i cannot know.

therefore, i say,
do what can be done.

but i know,
no chisel
has ever been
gentle.

© Amy Persons Parkes 2014

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