April 5, 2019

By Sarah Wiens


Father! Father! What are you doing

Sawing the branches of our apple tree?

Won’t the tree hurt with all those cuts?

Won’t it look ugly?


No, my child, I’m pruning it,

A job that must be done

If we want a healthy tree.

Come, watch; I’ve just begun.


But why that branch? That’s the one

I use to climb up high.

It’s thick, it’s low, a perfect step

To get up to the sky.


In summer, this branch had no leaves.

It’s dead; it soon will break.

You’d take a fall if I don’t

Remove it for your sake.


Are you cutting that branch off,

The one with the big crack?

It gave a lot of apples;

Can’t you simply tie it back?


This crack at the foundation, low,

Will let in worms and rot.

I have to cut it off before

It kills the tree on the spot.


Why that one, Father? It’s still green

And doesn’t have a crack.

But you just sliced the whole limb off

And tossed it on the burning stack.


Too close, my child, to this other branch,

Which hasn’t grown too well.

Now that it has the space it needs,

I’m sure it will excel.


You’re going to trim those little twigs?

They’re so minute and small.

How could they harm a big, strong tree?

Do they really matter at all?


Yes, they do. Those little twigs

Grow into strong, thick limbs;

And they will never be good branches

With the direction they’re growing in.


Father, one more question, please?

Of course, my child; ask me.

You cut so many branches off—

Are you sure that won’t hurt the tree?


The apples next year will abound,

As stronger grow the roots.

I prune the tree that bears, that it

May next year yield more fruit.


Sarah Wiens, a daughter of the King of kings, enjoys her life in Canada (where she does not live in an igloo, does not drive a dogsled, enjoys three other seasons besides winter, and can’t play hockey to save her life). Her life includes bookkeeping and teaching/playing piano. Besides music, other enjoyments include history, reading, various crafts, and spending time outdoors with her family. She draws much of her inspiration for poetry from her family’s garden (including eight apple trees) and other natural sources. Occasionally she attempts other writing projects as well. If you happen to be another Christian musician who would enjoy reading about her teaching adventures, she’d love for you to visit her blog at http://songbirdpianolessons.blogspot.com.


  1. Samantha Farrar

    This is so beautiful. Really got me thinking, about my own life. A very true analogy, wonderfully crafted!!!

    • Samantha Farrar

      ps: I also play the piano and love it!!! though I doubt I am half as good as you.

    • Sarah Wiens

      Thanks, Samantha! I began realizing when I was pruning last fall, that in the same way I always had a reason for removing a branch, God always has a reason when He decides to come in and ‘prune’ in my life. Hope the poem encouraged you! (And I’m glad to hear from a fellow musician as well!)

  2. Dakota

    This is so pretty! As a girl grown up in the country, I’ve seen the pruning of trees and have heard by younger siblings ask some of this questions. And now I enjoy it as a spiritual application. Thank you for writing this!

    • Sarah Wiens

      Thanks, Dakota! I know what you mean about younger siblings … mine are still skeptical. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the spiritual application!

    • Sarah Wiens

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Sarah

    I love this allegory and the conversational style of this poem!! Really nicely done. 🙂 I hope to see more poems from you sometime!

    • Sarah Wiens

      Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it out. 🙂

  4. Bethany Fehr

    This is lovely, Sarah! I am so excited to see this published! I love the distinct voices of the father and child. God’s fatherly care comes across so beautifully in this poem!

  5. Libby

    Wow, Sarah, this is beautiful and poignant. What a creative reminder of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty over our lives. How many times have I been that child–questioning my Father as he prunes me? This is so sweet…it was such a blessing to read it <3


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