The Tree As Witness - Amanda Rosas

Our backyard tree is a low monstrous canopy
of sun warmth, fever green with braided fronds
that sweep my brow as I descend the steps out back.
The limbs offer empathy in the air, they
greet, embrace. This evergreen in love
with us equally as with the passage of lonesome times.
It leans, a passionate companion of gravity.
This tree has watched me arrive and depart, flee and
settle in, and I’ve never said hello or goodbye or
thank you, not once. For watching us.
For withstanding us. For surviving us.
Soon,
we will leave this house nestled beside this
old mother tree. Our growing, snacking bodies
are denying this humble home the kind of solace
it once knew and governed, stable and mostly in peace.
The next people who home this house will be
gentler, give back what they take from it.
We are just pressed to move on rather than repair.
Like the rife testament of trees reaching eternally
for the kingdom cradle of sky, like this century’s
old house stalwart as armored knight right down
to the skeletal studs,
what else have we taken for granted?

Amanda Rosas is a mother, runner, teacher and poet. She draws beauty, strength and creativity from the Latina women in her family and from her husband and three young daughters. Originally from San Antonio, Amanda works to preserve the memories of her Mexican-American ancestors. She participated in the Twin Cities Listen To Your Mother storytelling event twice in 2018 and 2021 for their pandemic comeback show, and her work has been published by Red Fez.  She teaches Spanish and women’s studies in St Paul, Minnesota, and designed the online Activism Seminar and Latino/a/x Identity course for One Schoolhouse.  As an educator, Amanda infuses social justice, storytelling, BIPOC history and youth empowerment into her lessons. In her writing and teaching, Amanda emphasizes our human connections to one another, inspiring hope and justice for the future of her children and students.