Nervous Habit

Nervous Habit by Valerie Parente

When I’m nervous
I draw trees.
Picture them naked
in the breeze.

– Valerie Parente (5-18-2023)


In The Jungle

In The Jungle by Valerie Parente

This is a jungle,
so new to me,
the rain doesn’t dry,
and I like the heat,
so don’t you dare,
try to mock me,
’cause I was spared,
from the lush green,
when all I wanted,
was to feel complete,
under the shade,
of nature’s canopy,
amongst the light,
between the trees,
in the jungle,
where we all came from,
in the jungle,
and I’ve just begun.

– Valerie Parente (5-18-2021)

Young Sapling

Young Sapling by Valerie Parente

You, Young Sapling, dig your roots deeper into the ground,
becoming more rigid and stubborn with every anxiety beneath your surface.

The conflict is that you did not want to grow up,
but time forced you to, as it does to all nature around to you.

But the difference between you and the others was that they embraced their growing pains
and instead you strengthened the roots that were already there.

Mother Nature wanted things from you that you were not ready to give
and rather than wait to be ready, you dug deeper into the dirt and resisted force.

You told yourself the extremist belief that you would never be ready.
You told yourself that this refusal to budge was part of your persiting identity.

And now more time has gone by and you still have to grow up, but you are lost.
So you hyper-focus your motivation on making proud the seed that first planted you.

You shut out the forest because to acknowledge the others
feels like abandoning those precious roots, and your pride will not allow this.

You numbed yourself from the changes in the weather pressure,
making it so hard to see the signs that you are now finally ready to grow up.

And how beautiful is it, Young Sapling, that Mother Nature placed another tree so close to you,
another sapling who dealt with the same trauma of not wanting to grow up,
another sapling that wants to be able to stretch out its branches to reach yours
and grow alongside you.

We Can Grow Together

“We Can Grow Together” by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (11-18-2017)