Skip to main content

Yeah, yeah, I know. Mother’s Day in the US isn’t until next week. But when I began this poem, I didn’t know it was going to be about mothers. Or about tree rings.

That’s the beauty of creative writing. When you set out, you don’t need to know where you’re going. In fact, in my experience, it’s infinitely better if I don’t.

Whatever words that first popped into my head today, prompting the writing of this poem, have now gone to that great resting place of “trimmings and cuttings.” A limitless compost heap. Mounds of organic word-matter, slowly turning into something else. They’ll all come back around someday, somehow, probably in a way I won’t recognize.

“Mother Tree” doesn’t feel finished. But between you and me, that’s just fine. No poem of mine (or story or song) is ever done.

Maybe nothing creative is ever done. Maybe we just put it to bed until it wakes up again.


I’m including “Mother Tree” in two forms. As you can see, I was experimenting with the arrangement of the text on the playground of the white space. The friskier of the two forms simulates tree rings. Generated by this online tool, it’s nearly impossible to read, but I’m sharing it with you, just for kicks.


Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash
Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai has authored or edited eleven books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Brookings, South Dakota, USA.

Leave a Reply