The Spindly Pine




Oh, my spindly pine.

You grew in the shade of the Maple.

It protected you from the sun.

It protected you from the harsh winds and weather.

It flourished and grew and stretched out its’ limbs.

Everyone marveled at the Maples’ beauty

and barely even noticed you there.

But the years came and went for the Maple.

Its’ limbs produced less and less leaves each year.

Its’ branches started to break beneath the harsh weather.

It was time to say good-bye to the Maple.

It was cut down and its’ pieces hauled away.

You, oh spindly pine, stood there, center stage. Alone.

People shook their heads. Your branches were sparse and did not stretch out across the yard like the great Maples’.

You looked timid and frail.

The wind hit you full force.

The sun scorched down on you – relentless.

The snows covered you.

But you did not wither away.

You grew.

You blossomed.

Your limbs now had room to stretch out and grow.

They did not stretch out all the way across the yard like the Maples’.

You did not burst forth in brilliant colors every fall.

But you did start to shine.

You had a beauty unique and of your own.

When the Maple had died, there were thoughts of replacing you with another Maple.


As years passed, you, my spindly pine, filled that space.

I could not bare to crowd you out.

You had a place in my soul that was yours alone.

Continue to grow.

Continue to shine.

Oh spindly pine,

you are unique with a beauty of your own.


















Michigan Nature Guy helped me identify my “pine.” It isn’t a pine after all. It’s an Arbor Vitae (white cedar).

6 Thoughts

  1. I love your poem! It is thought provoking and moving. What kind of pine tree is that in the photo? I am reading a book you might enjoy. “The Overstory “ by Richard Powers


    1. I’ll have to check that out. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know what kind of pine that is. It’s different from most others, isn’t it? I’m glad you liked it!


    2. I just finished The Overstory. It’s amazing and I definitely learned a lot about trees. I love walking down trails and enjoying nature but I don’t know much about nature or the names of different wildlife and plant species. I can only identify a few different varieties of trees. I sent an email to Michigan Nature Guy to see if he knew what kind of pine my tree was. Well… I learned from him that it’s not even a pine. It’s a white cedar: Arbor Vitae to be more exact. Thanks to Nature Guy, I now know what’s growing in my front yard! Thanks for the book suggestion!


      1. Hi Mary,

        Yes I thought your little pine tree was a cedar! I am reading The Overstory too. I started reading it on the sailing cruise but haven’t had time to finish it. I just started reading your book and LOVE IT! Congratulations on publishing it. I have some manuscripts I have written that sit on my bookshelf. I also enjoyed the posts on your blog. I assume you are back a work since the strike is over. Take care and stay in touch Debbie


      2. You know your trees better than I do then! I understand why you didn’t finish the book on the cruise. Sailing was so much fun! You can always read later. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my book. That always makes my day. You’re an interesting person. I think you need to start sending your manuscripts in. I’m going to guess they’re pretty good.


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