Metaphor Poem

Tradition Poem

A metaphor of a family to a tree, each branch integral to the whole.

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Hi and thanks to all who commented on my poem "A Broken Family Tree" or who have shared it. I truly have been blessed by all your responses. And I am so honored The Lord inspired my heart in a …

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© Lori McBride more by Lori McBride visit Lori McBride's site

Published: Feb 2006

A Broken Family Tree

I am one of many
Small branches of a broken tree
Always looking to the ones above
For guidance, strength and security.
One little branch trying
To keep the others from breaking away
Who will fall?
And who will stay?
Now I stand alone
Looking at the earth through the rain
And I see the broken branches I knew
Scattered about me in pain.
There are those who have taken an axe
To the root of our very foundation
And who have passed this destruction
Down to every new generation.
If I could take that axe
I would toss it deep into the sea
Never to return again
To harm the generations that follow me.
I am one of many
But alone I will go
And plant the new seeds
Where a beautiful tree will grow.


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Techniques this poem uses:

  • This poem uses metaphors. Metaphors are a way to describe two objects without using the words "like" or "as." The author compares her family to a tree. She compares herself and individual members of her family to the branches.

    I am one of many
    Small branches of a broken tree

    One little branch trying
    To keep the others from breaking away

    There are those who have taken an axe
    To the root of our very foundation

    Read more about metaphors
  • This is an example of a free verse poem. Free verse poems do not follow specific rules.
    Read more about free verse poems
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Has this poem touched you? Share Your Story
  • by Lori, Placerville CA
  • 5/4/2014

Hi and thanks to all who commented on my poem "A Broken Family Tree" or who have shared it. I truly have been blessed by all your responses. And I am so honored The Lord inspired my heart in a way that took my own personal pain, struggle and life story to reach others who have walked in my shoes. Though we may not share the same family tree I am certain we are all joined together in the same beautifully broken forest. This poem literally became a fulfilled prophecy for me. I wrote it in 2001 and since then I have lived out the poem. A few years later after writing it, one of my twin daughter's was diagnosed with bone cancer, then over the next few months of treatments she was considered miraculously healed. Though the doctor didn't even know what to do with her case when learning she had % 100 cancer kill in just a couple Months. So as a team we continued her protocol of chemotherapy for a total of 9 months. Doing so caused serious heart problems which she was told then at age 11 she shouldn't have kids because of the stress on her heart. Shortly after finishing all treatment my children's father and I divorced. Just as the poem said "alone I will go and plant the new seeds where a beautiful tree will grow", I went a new direction at that crossroad while taking along my 3 children " NEW SEEDS" we were literally uprooted and The Lord planted us into a whole new life, new way of life and a new family! His Family! We started going to a church that a new neighbor invited us to and it was there that God showed us who we are as His children and gave us an amazing church family. So much has happened but to quickly elaborate a little more on the poem and the reality of it springing forth into life is that the truth is, had those tragedies never happened, me and my kids would not be who we are today. Things could have been quite different and painful. Yet, today I am overjoyed to say with fullness and unending gratitude in my heart that my daughter is now 8 years cancer free, married, she and her husband both earned their AA degrees in Ministry and have 2 absolutely beautiful baby girls ages 19 month's and 2 month's. Through much prayer my daughter carried them both to at least 38 weeks. And my other wonderful daughter, her twin sister is also getting married to a wonderful man who loves The Lord and they actively serve in their church and community. My amazing son who is almost 19 years old now and instead of continuing down a path of struggles in worldly living he has turned his life into a relentless pursuit of the One who created him. His hearts desire is to reach the lost and preach the GOOD NEWS of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like me, he is called to an Isaiah 61 life. I live in such peace and joy no matter what life hands me. By the grace of God, my identity and the identities of every new generation that follows me no longer identify with that old tree but instead will only identify with the new tree they were planted or born into.

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  • by Brittany, Ohio
  • 4/23/2014

This poem describes my family. We have not been close for a while now, but soon my family became divided after my uncle was put in jail for sexually assaulting me. Over half my family has turned their backs on me alone, and I usually just get my feelings out through my poems. This is a truly beautiful poem

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  • by East Timor
  • 4/22/2014

It's an awesome poem, my eyes are full of tears. Now I faced that in my life.

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  • by Anon, Utah
  • Apr 2013

Beautiful poem Lori. We must also ask ourselves, who held the axe? Trust is usually the source of any break where love was the bond. In our tree we found there was a lust for money and accusations of theft after a death. The accusers perpetuated a lie to gain favor with a widow. They achieved their goal and now live in her new home on her land, waiting for their "inheritance". Sick but true. What has this world come to? A love for diamond rings and a loss of honesty and accountability. The disappointment in these "family members" repels us. This is how the family bonds are broken and the foundation of a family is "axed". Those responsible actually consider themselves Christians. Now relationships between a Mother and Son, a Grandmother and grandchildren, Brother and Brother, all sacrificed for $$. Lord please help us down a path to forgive. We will all be in HIS kingdom someday, our greatest family tree. Until then we pray that a bond among us here on Earth will someday be repaired.

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  • by Amanda, Wellington, England
  • Aug 2012

This is just a ''perfect poem'' and absolutely beautifully written, from deep within the heart and full of adornment for loved ones we no longer speak to or have contact with. I will keep my story close to my heart, except in one way, myself and my children miss the laughs, company and love of you Mark and Samantha (my brother and sister) its heartbreaking. :'( we all miss you.

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  • by Linda, Tucson,Arizona
  • May 2012

Wow this poem made my mother and I cry!! Our family is going thru a very difficult time... my aunt my mother's sister has cancer spreading through her entire body. And her only wish is to see the entire family together, united but no matter what we say or do the separation in our family is getting worse!! This poem has made me realize that the only thing I can do is plant a new seed for the
new generation who are my children. <3

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  • by Mina Romero
  • May 2012

This was just sent to me by my daughter Cenaida we are struggling with family problems while my sister is dying of cancer. I have been struggling for peace in the family for my ill sisters sake cause her last wish is for us to be united and in trying to fulfill her wish it has been like receiving constant bombs thrown from everywhere, that I finally said I can't continue to fight no longer for peace in the family. When my daughter sent me this poem and I just started to cry and once more picked myself up with faith in God that he will help me conquer all evil that is trying to keeps us from uniting

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  • by Kuala, Lumpur
  • Jan 2012

I grew up in a very tight knit family my grandmother helped raise all her 15 grand children from her 9 children. I come from a pretty big family as you can see. When she passed all our worlds came crashing she was our light. It brings tears to my eyes to see where our family has ended up. My closest cousins who I played with and protected me as a child are now not even speaking to me. Our families are torn apart. No one knows how I feel I keep my thoughts and hurts to myself as I have to be strong for my mother. As much as it huts I have to continually surrender to god and like you said
"But alone I will go
And plant the new seeds
Where a beautiful tree will grow."

And this tree will be mine and no weapon will be formed against it. But I pray that god will bring my family back to me if not on earth then in heaven.

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  • by Sherri, Albuquerque NM
  • Jul 2010

Ms. Cain, this Poem touched me deeply as it will others. You have captured in words what so many feel...whether by choice they have used that axe or it has been used on them to break the branches of that tree. It was a honor to read and really feel what you were sharing in the words. You have a gift for tangibly touching the heart through your poem...that is a gift and it does not appear to be squandered. Please continue to share this to touch lives around the world...who knows, it may help someone to work through their own trials in life and plant a new seed of hope.

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  • by Mary
  • Jul 2010

I can't tell you how touching is your poem. My family fall apart since my fathers death and it's killing me to see all this distance between me and my family. nice job.

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Love this poem I lost my son and wrote a poem called The Tree, my tree had been felled in my poem, but it still started to sprout new shoots through the trunk !!It gave me inspiration to keep going writing poetry, your poem is very touching

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  • by Grace, California
  • May 2010

Beautiful and very touching. I tried and tried to reach out to my family since I was a little girl and repeatedly my heart get crushed over and over. It kills me everytime. I am now 40 and nothing has changed, all I know is I'd never give up.

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  • by Nuno, Namibia
  • Apr 2010

Beautiful....I'm a lyricist, I wrote a song almost like this 2 years ago...very touching. great to know there is people out there with the similar feelings. luv this

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  • by Monique, Michigan
  • Feb 2010

I love this. I come from a broken family where no one is close it touches my heart. I wish more people would care about their families and realize how important family really is!

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  • by Barbara
  • Sep 2009

I cannot tell you how your poem on this Sunday afternoon has touched the very essence of my heart as a mother and grandmother.
My son-in-law on his website made a very hurtful remark about my husband, the father of his wife and grandfather of his 4 children along with the rest of the family. He is trying to minimize his comments now. Outsiders who have read the comment have made the following comments "he is sick" "he is tryinig to divide the family" "this is a large stake for our daughter"
Unfortunately, he is home all the time as he works unsual shifts and more times than not, we leave messages for out daughter not always to be returned. I realize that perhaps the fact that his mother left him, his brothers and father when he was 3yrs old may haunt him, but our family has done nothing but embrace him, and as my sister has said would give them the shirt off our back and the last dime in our pockets.
Reading your poem, I feel those broken branches snapping day by day

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