Poem: The Refugee Trees

By Lesley Shepherd

hand holding seedling illustration
In honour of the Ukraine and other refugees world-wide.

We are the seeds of the diaspora
Our spores seek nourishment
In new earth
To regrow ourselves

We struggle for vital beginnings
Our tears water the soil
In foreign earth
To make a fresh start

Our roots gain purchase
Tentatively spreading out
In newly-known earth
To make a home

Our sap rises to feed
The thickening of our branches
In fertile earth
To solidify our place

Many seasons pass
Our old leaves wither
Our new leaves unfurl
Into the summer of our hearts

We are the refugee trees
Singing songs of the motherland
Still yearning for the earth of our bones


Lesley Shepherd

Auckland, NZ


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