The Common Good

Giving Tree

Giving hands support a tree. Photo courtesy art4all/

Editors Note: The following poem by Trevor Scott Barton was written for his fellow teachers, based on the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. 

If I were a tree

     I would like to be

          A giving tree.

Leaves a peaceful green,

     Birds could sit and sing,

          Children laugh and swing

                Upon my branches.

Fruit a joyful red,

     The sun could rest its head,

         The hungry could be fed

               Upon my apples.

Bark an earthy brown,

     Roots deep in the ground,

          The weary could sit down

               Against my trunk.

Friend the gentle breeze

     Could rustle through my leaves,

          Refreshing all in need

               Under my shade.

I'd be strong and tall,

     Give myself to all

          Until my fruit was gone,

               A giving tree.

Though I would be bare,

     I would still be there

          Reminding you I care,

               The giving tree.

Then springtime would begin,

     And I would bloom again

          To be for you my friend

               Your giving tree.

Trevor Scott Barton is an elementary school teacher in Greenville, SC. He is a blogger for the Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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