Firm Roots

 Poem for my mother

 The frail tree quivers as the wind pushes through, 
 shoving and tugging at each leaf, 
 until they are barely hanging on at the root, 
 only a few seconds away from snapping away.
 The breeze is relentless. 
 It forces space for itself in between the branches,
 while arching and contorting each one into pretzel-like shapes
 until the branches are only a few seconds away from breaking away
 And yet
 The branches do not succumb and the leaves do not cave in.
 Instead, each leaf stubbornly holds onto its branch
 And each branch holds steady onto the trunk.
 You see the trunk, is invincible 
 She is grounded in the earth
 Her roots reaching deep down into a part of the world the wind does not even know of
 The wind and its loud mouth are nothing to her
 She has survived storms and monsoons,
 The wind and its loud mouth are nothing to her.
 So when she feels the branches shake and the leaves tremble,
 She squeezes the earth, 
 Sending a wave of electricity that comes from the tips of the roots,
 Shoots up the trunk, 
 Wriggles down each branch, and 
 Kisses each leaf. 

By Fatoumata Ouedrago