Grandfather Oak

You stand erect, unbent by the wind, challenging the clouds.

Burly limbs, dark and sinewy, like a wrestler’s arms, reach to possess the sun.

 

You do not put on airs like your neighbors the maple and the linden.

They are graceful, lyrical; you are stolid, silent.

 

They dress in gay colors, dancing through the fall, ignoring winter’s threat.

You fade to tans and grays, the colors of a workman’s clothes, and await the ice and snow.

 

You hold the power of the sun inside you, locked in against the cold.

You stand dark and silent against the snow-filled sky and wait to bring green again.

 

You stand as a silent witness, a keeper of stories.

You listened to the hunters and the berry pickers as they camped under your leaves.

 

You knew the noble pines who once ruled the land.

You survived the onslaught, but will not tell the tale.

 

You witnessed the dawn of machines. You watched the lights cross the sky.

You stand in this forgotten corner and will never feel the sting of the saw.

 

You do not stand against time. You are time.

 

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