06 August 2011

Weep for Me

this poem was inspired by Sam Cooke's rendition of 'Willow Weep for Me'. Its secondary inspiration is Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.
There once was a man named Mr. Row
Who grew up neglected, shy and alone.
Who liked peanut butter sandwiches and found exploring to be joyous,
And who’s very best friend was the wayward forest.
Life wasn’t easy for Mr. Row
Whom trouble seemed to follow everywhere he’d go.
But he never was taught how to deal with his pain
So when he felt his first sadness, he turned to the rain:

Rain cloud weep for me.
Release your waters upon the trees.
They’ll catch my sadness
In the hollows of their leaves,
Then send them away
To get caught in the breeze.
I’m not one to beg 
And I’m not one to plead.
But I’m imprisoned by heartbreak
nd I need to be freed.
Now the forest was not due for rain for a while.
But the rain cloud knew Row from his days as a child.
And it never had seen the poor boy so distraught.
And against better judgement did what it thought it ought not.
The cloud full of air had no water to spare.
But it squeezed out some rain for the little one there.
The young one said “Thank you” and returned to his play.The rain cloud now wrought by its own troubling pain.

It wasn’t too long before the now grown boy fell again.
But this time the wound was much much deeper in.
His sadness returned, and to nature did he.
Only this time he turned to the willow tree:

Willow, weep for me.
Your branches reach the river naturally.
While you’re down there, release my pain
Just this once; I won’t ask again.
I tried to ignore my broken heartbeat,
But each tear I cry takes more of my peace.
And you’re already bending so low to the earth,
Just grant me this favor and save my self-worth.
The willow listened to his logic and found it to be sound,
So it bent even lower, touched its branches to the ground.
Cracking it’s trunk as it stretched further than it should,
The willow did what no one else would.It lifted the man from his now trembling knees
Then returned to the river, ever bound for the sea.
The willow whispered gently to the waters below
A message of sorrow for his friend Mr. Row.

The river received the message and the gentleman was glad;
It seemed as if by magic he was no longer sad.
So he briefly thanked the willow and went on about his day
Leaving behind a now worn willow tree who gave a broken man his way. 

Oh, but the man had forgotten
That sadness strikes more than twice,
But he would be reminded
A little later on in life.

It didn’t seem long to the man, now old, before he experienced grief once more.
Only this was a hurt much greater than he had ever known before.
While crying he remembered the willow and the message it had delivered,
So he gathered up his heartache a
nd sauntered to the river:

River, weep for me.
My tears and your waters will blend fluidly.
You’re already sending troubled waters away.
So adding mine to yours can’t be too much to pay.
I know I’ve hurt before, but it’s too much this time.
I need you to come ease the strain in my life.
I’ll nevermore ask you to pay for my sins.
Just this once and I can prepare for the next offense.

The river pondered long on the old man’s request.
It was moved my the tale, but wanted to do what was best.
After thinking a while, the river came to halt.
The old man was misled, but it wasn’t his fault.
So it offered him a compromise.It inhaled deeply, then released a sigh.
He looked at the man, down on his luck.
“First,” said the river, “you have to get up”.

Find yourself a boat, and if there isn’t one, build it;
If you want to protect your heart, then first you must shield it.
Enter the boat, and slide onto me.
Then grab your oar and take your own lead.
It’s important you lean to steer life on your own-
You’re name, after all, is Mr. Row.
Now, there will be times when you feel neglected
And things don’t go as you may have expected.
But the next time you’re hurting, don’t beg trees and the weather
Just come to me, and we can cry together

The old man listened intently to the instructions of the river,
And smiled in his heart at what he had been given.
He built his boat and took it to the stream,
But once he returned he no longer had need
For the tears of the river, for he had none of his own-
Only contentment in having what he had been shown.
The man slid on the waters nonetheless,
To weep with the river, released from distress,
Tears of joy for having found a friend
Who had helped him to find the peace within. 

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