When you give a tree an email address, expect love letters
Paeans to its radiant beauty, long limbs, strength, and shade,
Polite inquiries into its health, best wishes for long life.
This poem is a sijo, a Korean form I was introduced to in a poem by Ms. Chiubooka Writes. A sijo is a three-line poem of 44-46 syllables, divided among three lines with 14-16 syllables in each line. The first line introduces the situation, the second line develops it, and the third line introduces a twist and resolution. Each line is also supposed to include some kind of break, closer to the halfway mark than I’ve managed here.
The idea for this poem (as well as some of its language) comes from a wonderful article by Adrienne LaFrance about a program in Melbourne, Australia, where urban trees are assigned numbers and email addresses so that residents can share concerns about the health of their favorite trees. The unexpected consequence of giving trees email addresses was fan mail.