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Susurrus

Updated on April 1, 2020

Susurrus

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,

Hurricane

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

Susurrus


©LSR2010


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