Humour / poetry

How Granny Became a Tree

Allow me to tell you, please,

about my dear Granny

who was once a woman

but is now, in fact, a tree.

I will get straight to it,

without pause or diversion:

this story all starts

with a fault in her immersion.

A freezing cold winter

has everybody seeking

the warmth of a fire or

full-on central heating.

Except in Granny’s house,

where, old and rusted,

the boiler stands there broken,

battered, banjaxed and busted.

Poor Granny sits shivering,

wrapped in minus degrees

as the cold takes hold

of her extremeties,

what little warmth she has

at her core, it lingers,

refusing to spread

to her toes or fingers.

Yet, Granny laughs in spite

of all these malladies

mostly at the irony

that she plainly sees.

Cold as Granny is,

she cannot be solemn

for both house and herself

have a circulation problem.

By way of distraction

from ongoing woe,

Granny sits listening

to the radio,

on which she hears a bright-spark

explain a project of worth:

sourcing one’s home-heating

from under the earth.

Granny listens closely

as guest and host discuss

how heat from Earth’s core

rises up to the surface.

“Best of all,” said bright-spark,

“It’s all free, what a bargain!

Geo-thermal energy’s there

underneath your garden!”

“Well I’ll be!” hooted Granny

as she jumped up and danced a jig,

“I’ve a shovel in the shed,

I guess I’m going on a dig!”

Little time is wasted as

Granny breaks through the clay.

She fears frostbite setting in

and so does not delay.

You see, she has no interest,

such is her urgency,

in tapping into what she digs

to heat her home for free.

No, Granny takes direct action

to cure her frozen soles

as she buries both of her own feet

in two one-foot deep holes.

“Ahhh!” she sighs in relief,

feeling her feet defrost,

“All this warmth is mine now,

and at no extra cost!”

Granny gets so cosy

standing buried ankle-deep

that she slowly stretches, yawns,

and shuts her eyes to sleep.

Granny sleeps in her garden

for that day and next day too.

In fact, she sleeps in that spot

all the Winter through.

As Spring comes into season,

there’s no changing Granny’s fate

now that soil itself awakens,

Granny starts to germinate.

The holes she hid her feet in

to give Winter’s chill the boot

are now holes that hold her

as her two feet take root.

Changes of the season,

and light instead of dark,

found Granny and transformed her

from pink flesh to brown bark.

Now she wears a dress of ivy

with bark for her sleeves,

both her arms are branches

covered with twigs and leaves.

Being a tree suits Granny,

I look up to her even more

which is easy now she’s 10 feet plus

and only used to be 5-foot-4.

And you might find my story strange,

I don’t blame you if you do.

But at least I know my family tree

and I think that you should too.

So, please be kind to nature,

I ask you faithfully

on behalf of my dear Granny

who is, in fact, a tree.