What Is the Meaning of the Poem “Bonsai” by Edith Tiempo?

The poem “Bonsai” by Edith Tiempo is about love and how people imbue certain objects with love for a person, and those objects become the symbol of love. Edith Tiempo starts out her poem by describing what she does with love. She folds it to make it smaller so that she can keep it in a box, hollow post or shoe. Because love is an abstract concept and has no physical form, she is obviously talking about objects.

However, it is not love of the objects themselves that this poem is referencing. It is rather about how the love for a person or place can be best touched through an object that evokes them.

These objects are easy to keep, and, thus, they become the keeper of memory and of the love that is held for the person. In a sense, they are a physical manifestation of love because they can be held and touched, and they remain constant in form. So even if the love itself fades, the object remains, and it is evidence of the love that was experienced. More, it is evidence that love is real because these objects are concrete and not abstract. Because of them, she is sure that love lasts until the world ends.