All That Time:
Who are the two characters in this poem, and what are they each like?
What is the allegory of the poem?
Does this love story have a happy ending? Why or why not?
Why does Swenson begin with a first person speaker?
What is the significance of the title?
All That Time
I saw two trees embracing.
One leaned on the other
as if to throw her down.
But she was the upright one.
Since their twin youth, maybe she
had been pulling him toward her
all that time,
and finally almost uprooted him.
He was the thin, dry, insecure one,
the most wind-warped, you could see.
And where their tops tangled
it looked like he was crying
on her shoulder.
On the other hand, maybe he
had been trying to weaken her,
break her, or at least
make her bend
over backwards for him
just a little bit.
And all that time
she was standing up to him
the best she could.
She was the most stubborn,
the straightest one, that’s a fact.
But he had been willing
to change himself–
even if it was for the worse–
all that time.
At the top they looked like one
tree, where they were embracing.
It was plain they’d be
Too late now to part.
When the wind blew, you could hear
them rubbing on each other.