1976
    Short Roots
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “Short Roots,” Ensign, Apr. 1976, 13

    Short Roots

    The tree

    At the church next door to me

    Turned up its roots and died.

    They had tried

    To brace its leaning,

    But it lowered

    And lowered,

    And then there it lay—

    Leaves in grass

    And matted roots in air,

    Like a loafer on a summer day.

    “Look there,”

    Said the gardener,

    “Short roots—all the growth went up—

    Big branchesn—short roots.”

    “How come?” I asked.

    “Too much water.

    This tree had it too good.

    It never had to hunt for drink.”

    Especially in thirsty times,

    My memory steps outside,

    And looks at the tree

    At the church next door to me

    That turned up its roots and died.

    Illustrated by Kent Goodliffe