Like Joyce Kilmer & many others, I too like trees

Hanging out around trees is good for you. That’s what a recent study discovered.

I’m not sure why we are spending money on such research. There’s more pressing problems, in my opinion, like cancer and homelessness and poverty. But, then again, few, if any, listen to me.

Joyce Kilmer was a writer who gained prominence by serving, and dying, as a soldier during the First World War. Sadly, my great-grandmother’s younger brother faced the same fate, minus the fame.

No one knows much about my great-great uncle, even in our family, though I have been working to correct this. I plan on writing a book about his life, particularly his experiences during the war.

They died on the same day: July 30, 1918. Kilmer was 31. My great-great uncle, Leslie Warren Darling, was 22, three weeks shy of his 23rd birthday. He had been gravely wounded by German machine gun fire four days prior.

When I mentioned some of these details to Grandma, she recalled having read his poem Trees while in school.

I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

ajh

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