1976
Short Roots
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“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