This Tree – Revisited

This week, my family will be welcoming the first of a new flock of chickens. Those of you who have been with me a long time might know that we used to live out on acreage, complete with chickens, ducks, turkeys, and a large garden. We had relocated to the Madison area a few years ago and bought a house in town. While it had its conveniences, we all missed the land and the birds.

Last fall, we moved back into the country on ten acres in the beautiful Driftless Region of Wisconsin, land untouched by the last glaciation. In a few days, we will welcome the first of our new flock, three Cuckoo Maran hens. For me, it feels a bit like welcoming old friends home.

When the threat of coronavirus passes, we will all come out of our homes and reconnect with family and friends, strengthening our deepest bonds, breathing the fresh air, and revisiting familiar places. We will pick up where we left off, albeit with the changes that life demands. Still, we will pick up and carry on.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

This Tree

I’ve hiked this trail before
winding through a wooded wonderland
in awe
air sweet with the detritus
by spring’s morning mists,
I breathe
lost in a tree-born revere
my soul plays in the canopy
my toe, earth bound,
snags the arching twist
of an exposed root
hiding under last fall’s rotting leaves
I stumble, startled
catch myself against a tree
its rough bark—a finger hold—
steadies me
I rest my back against this strong friend
yes, this one
whose rude root
tripped me
I trace the root back to this tree
Old Confidant!
this friend
responds with shaking laughter
as the wind rattles
bare limbs
just stretching from
winter’s rest
this tree chuckles
breathes me


Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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38 thoughts on “This Tree – Revisited

  1. That makes me sooooo happy to know…having struggled to show up of late, I’m so glad my return has made a positive difference to someone who is so considerate and loyal 🙂 To make it perfectly clear, you are a joy and your gifts are just that….treasures!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Tanya 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I always wondered how chickens are able to make it over the winters in cold areas. Are the coups heated?

    I love the interaction with the tree. Love how you describe it’s laugh, I could see that!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Pat!

      We use a small, radiant heater that takes a chill off the coop. Some people use heat lamps, but they can cause a fire. We also heat the water just enough that it doesn’t freeze.

      That, and we stick to breeds that are hardy. Most of ours will lay eggs throughout the winter.

      Glad you liked the piece!


      1. Yes!
        Ameraucana or Easter Eggers. We will have a few of those too. We had a few in our old flock…sweet birds. We will have a few Silkies too. If you want a laugh, look them up. 😂😂😂


      2. Ha Ha, they look very furry. Funny looking, How do you pluck those? Must be interesting. You should take some pictures and do a post. You know….the life and times, etc. Am curious to see what they look like at this age.😊 Now I want to raise chickens😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will do that! Silkies are fascinating birds. They are like lap chickens…sweet, small, affectionate. They also love to brood, and they will even sit on duck eggs. Lol

        We will have them just for that purpose…to hatch our next generation of chickens in a year or two.

        Chickens are pretty awesome! 🐣🐣🐣❤️


  3. We were raised in Milwaukee and now live in a small town in Minnesota- Anoka. Where in Wisconsin do you live? Are you close to the Mississippi River?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was born in a town right off the Mississippi River. I live SW of Madison a bit, close enough to enjoy all that Madison has to offer (at least once we can all get back out and interact😂).

      Have a great week, Kathy!

      Liked by 1 person

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