The oak outside my window is alive in a way I cannot experience. Its body is an entirely different world; its DNA venerable; its essence alien.
I sit here writing, taking casual sips of coffee, curious about the nature of things like trees. And suddenly I’m overcome by a peculiar longing: I want to become a tree–to know its tireless and entirely purposeful aspects; its large-scale existence, unapologetic, held tight to a benevolent Earth; its indefinable, perhaps unknowable simplicity.
I want to know what it’s like to give shade to bookworms, picnicking lovers, sleepy children; feel the temperature fluctuate across uncounted days and seasons; to be visited by myriad animals with all their dependences; to absorb warm light; to drink cold rain; to burst into flower-song.
I imagine I am this tree: alive in that way I cannot experience; my body an entirely different world, my DNA plant, my essence something akin to God.
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society and has published four books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, Selected Poems 2004-2007 and Collected Poems (all available as free downloads; see website). In addition to poetry he writes short stories of psychological horror and the supernatural. He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.