Underneath the maple tree,
I glanced at you and you smiled at me.
I can remember when it was a sapling,
cradled in your hand,
and we wanted answers to everything
we wished to understand.
We were children once,
playing beneath those vibrant leaves.
We were wild, and we were reckless;
before time became a thief.
I remember when the magpies laughed,
high up on their perch;
Not sure what we were looking for,
we began to search.
The birds kept us company,
keen eyes upon our backs,
until my father’s shots rang out
with a splitting crack.
Their bodies floated like feathers
onto the gentle ground,
and, teary-eyed, we buried them,
our treasures still not found.
We dreamed at night of adventures,
of magic and romance;
we’d lie awake in the dark,
your soft words were a trance.
We spoke of all the things we’d find,
and the places we’d explore.
Side by side we promised to march together,
towards the wishes we would wait for.
Gradually we realized that
there’s no time for the magic of our dreams;
in this callous world, they explained,
everything is what it seems.
We sat upon tree boughs,
where you held my slim hand,
and we questioned the many things
we knew we’d never understand.
And we watched as our tree grew,
we watched while the leaves died,
and we realized there are far too many things
that we would never find.
Our tree froze one winter,
lost in the bitter air,
and its skeleton now stands to us:
a symbol of despair.
The magpies’ bodies have turned to dust,
their laughter gone with ours,
and the fervent dreams that once filled our heads
have long since turned sour.
I still can picture those joyful days
when you held my hand in yours,
and we longed to find the secret things
that were lying on different shores.
We have lost our dreams since those days
and our youthful-eyes are blind
to the many things we cannot answer,
and to the things we will not find.