August 30, 2017 at 12:00 AM
When I was a young girl, I grew up among trees.
There were big trees, small trees, fat trees, tall trees.
There were Maple, Tamarack, and little Spruce too
But, the most precious tree of all was you.
The forest was our kingdom, and your trunk was the fortress.
Your leaves stamped their feet like a legion of horses.
And all this was fine till one summer's day,
some lumberjack came and took me away.
"We'll get you a Peachtree!", they merrily said.
"Don't make me go!", I cried as I pled.
I don't want a Peachtree, a Maple or Tamarack,
This isn't my home, I just want to go back.
They say I'll get used to it, 'that it's not that bad',
but you're the only friend I ever really had.
I'm still a young girl but I live among stones.
There are big stones, small stones, fat stones, tall stones.
But the city is a prison I'd much rather leave.
I guess I must be a girl of the trees.
★ Annerie grew up as the youngest of three siblings. She spent most of her time in solitude pouring over books and doing 'art'. Due to her father's inconsistent and often unreliable work, her family moved around the province of British Columbia, sometimes moving every two months.
★ During the long car rides between houses, Annerie would tell herself stories to keep herself entertained, often illustrating them in pen along the insides of her arms.
★ When Annerie began grade six, her parents bought their first 'permanent' house. Annerie herself couldn't have picked a better place. They lived mostly off-grid, supported by 80 acres of forest land a short distance outside of town.
★ Every girl secretly wants their own magical forest, and the place itself seemed to make her come alive. Annerie would disappear for hours on her own, going on 'adventures' with imaginary comrades or simply finding a warm sunny spot to read. That acreage itself is still, to this day, her favorite place on earth.
★ Daddy got a new job just as Annie was going into grade 10. A new job meant a new home. She desperately tried to fight it though. Wasn't everyone just as happy on the acreage as she was? But at the end of the day, there were bills to pay and her father had a better offer.
★ They moved to Peachtree California but it'll never be home. Annerie is still fixated on her forest, the acreage, and the freedom they left behind. She struggles to adapt to the concrete uniform of city life and the traditional method of torture adults call high school.
★ In her poem Annerie uses the 'trees' to symbolize actual trees. She uses specific trees (Maple, Tamarck, PeachTree), to symbolize different houses and places she's grown up. The 'trees' also represent different imaginary friends and stories she's told herself along the way.
The Lumberjacks are obviously her parents uprooting their family yet again and the Peach tree she is given represents their move to Peachtree California.
At the end of her poem, Annerie uses 'stones' to represent the literal concrete and stonework of city infrastructure, but they also represent the 'real life' people she is surrounded by as opposed to the 'imaginary friends' she spent time with before.
In the very last line, Annerie concludes she must be a 'girl of the trees', confessing quite literally that her heart will always be in the wild and in the forest, and that her mind will always exist in the forest of her imagination.