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poem: oak tree

Updated on March 29, 2012

White Oak Tree

In my back yard there is a white oak tree

With a straight trunk perhaps twenty inches

In diameter and twenty feet tall before

Its branches multiply to the sky.

We talk many a summer afternoon.

We are perhaps about the same age,

Sixty going on seventy.

There is little doubt He

Will outlive me and enjoy

Many more seasons and summer afternoons.

No one who will own this land

Will be fool enough

To cut you down.

I can see your beautiful lumber

And the hundred and fifty clear board feet,

But I would sooner cut my throat

As cut you down.

And I know about cutting trees

Having earned my livelihood

As a cabinetmaker.

We talk of sun, leaves and stretching

To the sun and sky.

Life is good when given half a chance.

I think of starvation, disease, famine and death,

And thank God that I have the chance to watch

The tall, straight oak perhaps grow another

Twenty or so years.

I am happy to think You

Might live a couple of hundred more years,

At least that is my sincere wish.

Remember me when I have become soil

Beneath your roots and You

Have tripled in girth as You reach to the sky.

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    • profile image

      shradhdha 3 years ago

      veru nice poems..i like it..!!

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 5 years ago

      Thanks, Audrey. I feel more and more tree-like these days.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Lovely piece! I enjoyed your relationship with the tree

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 5 years ago

      Gracias Hermano.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      We have a slightly smaller oak in our back yard that has grown from an acorn planted by our children perhaps 30 years ago. Beautiful poem.

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 6 years ago

      Every year I am more in love with trees. Thanks for your appreciative comment.

    • profile image

      Multiman 6 years ago

      Great meditative poem about trees and our own lives and worth. Enjoyed it and voting it up.

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 6 years ago

      Hi Hello, Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem.

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 6 years ago

      Hi GNelson, Sometimes I think they do but we just don't listen? Thanks for reading.

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 6 years ago from Florida

      Good poem! You have the right attitude. If trees could talk what tales they would tell.

    • barranca profile image
      Author

      barranca 6 years ago

      Hi Robie, Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for being the first to say so!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

      lovely poem and a very nice tree too-- thanks Barranca