They are the only ones who understand me.
I am the only one who understands them.
For skinny trees with skinny necks and pointy
elbows like mine. Four who do not belong here but are here.
Four raggedy excuses planted by the city.
From our room we can hear them, but Nenny
just sleeps and doesn't appreciate these things.
Their strength is secret.
They send ferocious roots beneath the ground.
They grow up and they grow down
and grab the earth between their hairy toes and
bite the sky with violent teeth and never quit their anger.
This is how they keep.
Let one forget his reason for being,
they'd all droop like tulips in a glass,
each with their arms around the other.
Keep, keep, keep, trees
say when I sleep. They teach.
When I am too sad and too skinny to keep keeping,
when I am a tiny thing against so many bricks,
then it is I look at trees. When there
is nothing left to look at on this street.
Four who grew despite concrete.
Four who reach and do not forget to reach.
Four whose only reason
is to be and be.
- Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street