old-man-tree

author’s note:

I recently discovered that the poem below is not, technically speaking, a fable.  It’s closer to being a parable.

But “fable” reminds me of those Aesop fables that I enjoyed as a boy.  Whereas, “parable” reminds me of Sunday School.

However, upon reflection, the poem does sound closer to Sunday School, than to Aesop.  Even so, I’m sticking with “fable”.  I believe the poem to be accurate in all other respects.
 

THE FABLE OF THE OLD MAN IN THE TREE

An old man
sitting in a tree
begged me
to carry him
across the water.

But by the time
I’d reached the other side,
that burden on my back…

had vanished—!

I have made many more trips,
each time toting that same old man.
But I’ve stopped blaming him
for not staying put—
no one fools me as well
as I fool myself

and though I’m wiser now
I continue because
I’ve realized why
I acquiesce to his requests:

I’m discovering
how strong I can be—
I’m learning

how we build strength.
 

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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