By Betsy Jenifer, age 16, India
Look at those trees,
How they stand silent and free.
Their branches, how they make
An appearance of frozen, slithering snakes.
Their leaves, how they shake and dance
To the rhythm of the wind as if in a trance.
Their fruits, how they hang
Like the trees’ offerings with a grateful thanks
To their planters and the Lord
For having them here in this yard.
Look at those trees, how they are
Bold and silent though their bodies we mar.
Their benefits we plunder; their wood we burn.
For all our misdeeds, they provide more in return.
The rustle of their leaves
Could move the insane to peace;
Their weather-beaten, wide-open arms
Supply sanctuaries from the sun.
They save all life from death
By granting air for a lifetime’s breath.
Look at those beautiful trees,
How humbly they stand,
So gentle and serene with so much ease.
They have been merciful and kind
To the whole of mankind.
Their extinction will be the earth’s end:
They are forever man’s most silent friends.