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Updated on April 1, 2020


by Laura Summerville Reed

Her sweeping branches spread out,

Down, and back again like the arms of a goddess matriarch

The live oak, Majesty of the South

She doesn’t drop her leaves to the autumnal chill

She doesn’t cease her thirst for drink

Unlike her sisters, red oak, white and pin

Who shut down; giving way to grays and drear

She keeps and keeps and keeps

There is no waste in her

Not until she feels the velvet ache

The tender newness beneath her hide

Like a thousand teething infants

(and she, the mother of every one)

Then she’ll unclasp each tiny petiole

And let the mantle fall about the ground

The trappings she wears are a deep golden green

She basks in warmth year round

To a tune set in three-season time

Her suitors are sunshine and sweet rolling rain

And the occasional jealous lover,


She’s a southern gal, full of charm and allure

Her gray and furrowed bark is adorned with lace

Tucked here and there like a grandmother's handkerchief

She plays a lovely host to the ferns and the moss

That require nothing but her endurance and the air

Lovers leave their calling cards

Etched upon hardened heart

And old men entwine silver beards

Full of dreams, both won and lost

I’ve sat nestle in the curve of your leafy womb

When my soul needed solitude

I’ve skinned my knees and elbows

Simply for the joy of climbing you

I’ve tasted the shakers of sunshine you sprinkle

Through the tops of your breezy boughs

And dared gravity to question me

On my quest to grab a cloud

I’ve listened close to your rustling whisper

A lover’s voice, raspy into my ear

A whisper sweet




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    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Thank you so very, very much!

    • celeBritys4africA profile image


      10 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very very nuce.

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Thank you, Augustine.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      11 years ago from Texas


    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      MFB, you should climb one again soon. They are still as wonderful as you remember.

    • MFB III profile image

      Matthew Frederick Blowers III 

      11 years ago from United States

      God,I miss scampering up above the mundane summer days of Kidhood to the glorious the earthly heavens perchedin the limbs of a tree, high up where no one could see me. I knew first kisses there, and initials shared using a pen as a knife, plus hours of imagination run amock, we were pirates, indians or anything our tree would let us be, and coming down was always sad, 'cept it was usually Mom calling me to luch or supper, and eating was almost as good as communing with a tree.

      Loved this much~~MFB III

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Thank you for your kind words, JBeadle, so nice to meet you.

    • JBeadle profile image

      J Beadle 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      Another very nice poem. The words go straight from the eyes to the soul.

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Hi Micky Dee, oddly enough, in all my comings and goings around the southeast I've never lived in, or even visited Charleston. I'll have to be sure to see the Angel Oaks if travel leads me that directions. And thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      11 years ago

      That's my favorite tree! There are a couple of trees known as the Angel Oaks just south of Charleston, SC on Johns Island. I've played manytimes on these beautiful trees. They have made the area a park now. But I have enjoyed so many Oaks! Thanks!

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Thank you so much, Ken, glad you enjoyed it.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      11 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Excellent imagery. A poem that truly speaks.

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      I do love to climb a tree! That's me in the last pics above. Not a terribly daunting tree, but that day we were hiking in the swamp woods, where they all grow straight up, The challenge was in finding one I could get a knee into, lol.

      Charlie, my "best yet", you say? Well, just wait till you see the one I've got lying around here somewhere about puppy dogs, lol! My Spanish is really atrocious so you can rustle about and whisper whatever you like; it all sounds good to me, LMAO. Thank you so much for the compliment, it truly means a great deal coming from you.

      Laurel, "magnificent?", now it's my turn to say, "Oh, my." Thank you, and thank you, I'm humbled.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      11 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      How perfectly you've captured the grandeur of-some-trees! At first, my only comment was going to be "Oh, my." But, lalesu, this is magnificent.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Your best yet girl. I love all the metaphors that give it such richness. Wayne can hug all the trees, I'll hug you. (((hug))) haha ¿Qué susurros quiere usted oír? Le amo mujer dulce.

    • lalesu profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

      Thank you, kind sir.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      11 years ago from Texas

      Mmm...that one has got me wanting to go out and hug an Oak! Very nice, Laura!


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