Photo: June 18, 2017

Leaves

Adriana GarcĂ­a wrote this poem, and read it at Jackson's memorial service in September 2017.

We watched as you grew tall
Tall like a tree.

The one that stands firmly rooted in the field
Surrounded by blushing wildflowers. 

The day you sprouted from the earth, 
We etched our names in your trunk 

Right before you stretched to the sky to make room for your sap.
That sweet nectar of you. 

From your growing trunk, branches reached for the sun,
Trying to take in every ray of light.
 
And you did. 
Each day you drank up the sun as if you had never tasted it before.

And when it often overflowed, it poured out of you
As laughter.

Your branches did not twist, aching to find the warmth, 
For they were always bathed in its light.

And on the smooth surface of each outstretched limb
Were a thousand leaves of joy, 

Growing more infinite every day, 
Swaying together like a deep and rhythmic pulse 

When soft winds rustled your leaves, 
They whistled a familiar tune that comes to me in my dreams. 

I visit you every day, my sapling.
I dance underneath your branches and smile at your music,

I bathe in your light and touch your leaves,
I close my eyes and remember the moments that sprouted each leaf,

I embrace your trunk and sleep
With you and the wildflowers.