Natural [Tree]Ment

by Vincent “Tank” Sherrill

I imagine myself standing amongst a Forrest or Jungle of Trees
listening to their songs sung by the rustling of leaves
and being coo cooed by their life giving spirit —
The Wind’s seasonal breeze
and my nose hairs being tickled and teased yet well pleased
intoxicated from the scents of sap and syrup from Maple trees
and the natural medicinal properties of honey bees
having my spirit gracefully engaged by the Ministry of Giants
Gods of the ecclesiastical ecology
I ground and center myself and with eyes looking upward
I drop down on to arthritic tendinitis knees
humbled by the Majesty of Trees

I imagine I’m back in my birth place in Oakland
before it was colonized and settled by white men
before towns and cities were erected
before the land and water needed protected
before capitalism laid waste to millions of Oak trees
before my family migrated to the land of Evergreens
before I became American Me
gang member
drug dealer
chopping down trees
intoxicated in my masculinity
a NIGGA needing to be please

I want to sit in the midst of our Rose Garden again
amongst the collective of giants who nurtured my ability
before “the Sun rose to its zenith
reaching its hottest month
in the dead of winter
exposing humankind to a new kind
of ultravirus rays”
before 400,000 plus (and counting) warmbloods went cold
reaching US behind closed doors
weltering Black, Brown, and White Rose’s with its mold
I want to lay down my burden in a clearing surrounded by Trees
so that I may know War no more
and my soul may know Peace
I want to live in a world that no longer uses paper currency
I want to live in a world guns, germs and virus free
I want to live in a world that relies on natural remedies
For The 77 Prisoners Housed in the Gymnasium
We Demand Freedom
free from this Unnatural Greenhouse

Vincent “Tank” Sherrill
©2021 (Age of COVID-19)

Updates from the University of Washington Bothell's Project on Mass Incarceration in Washington State