Determined to Survive

So long
and determined
they had chiseled
at the tree,
which despite their best efforts
to stymie her growth,
had grown both
tall and strong.

they stood determined
year for year
chiseled and chiseled
until with great cheer
they finally toppled the nuisance
which had caused them such fear.

unrecognized in their zeal to succeed
were the tree’s thousands of seedlings
nourishing on weeds.
Thousands and thousands of fresh shoots
very much alive
and just as determined
to survive.

About the Poem

The poem is inspired by recent US Supreme Court decisions regarding abortion rights and affirmative action.

About the Author

Dr. Drewes is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Berlin, Germany.

1 thought on “Determined to Survive”

  1. “Determined to Survive” is a thought-provoking poem that uses the imagery of a tree and its seedlings to convey a deeper message about resilience and the unintended consequences of narrow-minded actions. The poem begins by describing how the tree has thrived despite the persistent efforts to hinder its growth. This portrayal of the tree symbolizes strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

    The poem then shifts focus to the individuals who stood determined to topple the tree. Their relentless efforts eventually succeed, and they celebrate their triumph. However, what they fail to realize is the tree’s legacy in the form of thousands of seedlings nourishing on weeds. This unexpected consequence serves as a metaphor for the unintended repercussions of actions taken without considering the broader implications.

    The poem draws inspiration from recent US Supreme Court decisions on abortion rights and affirmative action, highlighting the author’s commentary on these issues. While the poem doesn’t explicitly delve into the specifics of these court rulings, it suggests that narrow-minded pursuits of success or victory without considering the larger context may inadvertently foster new challenges or adversities.

    Overall, “Determined to Survive” offers a thought-provoking reflection on the importance of considering long-term consequences and the interconnectedness of actions. It prompts readers to ponder the impact of their own endeavors and the potential unintended effects they may have on the world around them.

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