HOW TO EAT A TREE

Agnieszka Filipek 

if you are new to eating trees
you will be glad to know
that I’m not here to tell you
to just go into the woods
find a tree and chop it into small pieces
disguising it in a muffin or salad
and feeding your mother–in–law
hoping she’ll choke on a tiny piece


there is more to enjoy from eating trees
then fruits nuts and berries
and killing your partner’s mother
trees have an incredible variety
of other edible parts such as
bark leaves twigs and seeds
pollen roots flowers and sap


the easiest way to start eating trees
is to make them into the forementioned salad
however not by chopping the entire tree
but by harvesting young leaves and flowers in the spring
nuts and berries in the autumn
although after a careful consideration
it would be much more pleasurable
just watching her choke

PROCESS

I love organic foods and I like to read about diets and healthy lifestyles, especially after finding out that I have food allergies. I saw an article in one of the health magazines about eating trees, and I started thinking about the idea of literally eating a tree. I imagined going into the woods, picking a fine tree, chopping it down and trying to eat it. The idea seemed funny to me, so I started reading the article. As I read, I noticed that the article was giving real advice about how to harvest different parts of trees, how to prepare and store them, and how to incorporate them into meals.


I love nature, I find it inspiring. Nature is present in a lot of my poems, and I wanted to write something about eating trees. When I started writing this poem, I wasn’t sure where it was going to take me. Most of my writing unfolds in front of me, like a story coming alive, with its own characters. When I looked at my first draft, I couldn’t stop laughing. I could see clearly how the story formed in my head. My dad’s favorite jokes are about mothers–in–law and how to get rid of them. And so this story took me on a journey of potentially killing a mother–in–law. My dad would be so proud.

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