Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

Judy Zhao
Media Staff

What do you do when you’re sad?


I stand tall. 

I become like a tree: 

Unmovable, unbreakable 

Grounded by the roots of my ancestors 

Their strength builds me up and propels me forward 


I wear my emotions on the inside 

Presenting a figure of strength 

Emulating my mother’s benevolence 

My grandmother’s bravery 


My ancestors remind me of my roots, 

Which whisper their stories 

Rooted in parched and desolate terrain

With no source for water, they sprouted from their tears 

Rising upward with the hope that I would one day grow lush and green


When harsh winds rip the leaves from my branches 

And my flowers start to wilt

I feel their loving hands tend my broken garden 


Even in fertile soil a tree can break 


When my hurt is not released, when my pain is concealed 

My leaves become speckled with disease, my bark starts to rot 

Lush and green no more, fertile soil means nothing 


If we only come to know resilience

All we hide within our hearts becomes too much for our branches to bear 

They break as we desperately try to hold ourselves together 

To keep ourselves rooted in strength


But for my ancestors, what more did they feel? 


Was there space for their tears? 

For their love? 

Is there space for my fear? 

For my hope? 

For our twisted branches? 


I wonder if they too longed for a space to cry 

To make mistakes 

To reveal bruises and healing scars


Can you look within the lush green garden? 

See my blooming flowers, 

And my bloody wounds 

See those strong roots, 

And accept that I still feel like a sapling, 

New to this world


What do you do when you are sad? 


Know, you can come to my garden 


Here, you can just be 

While I rest my head on your brave shoulder 

Put your gentle hands on my beating heart 

See the pain and wisdom in my mind 

As I see the joy and peace in your soul 

Let me hold you when you fall 

This act of love won’t rip us out our soil 

Nothing can


Hold me up and let me break down 

Know that falling tears don’t mean weakness 

They nourish our soul to help our garden grow 



It doesn’t scare me