The Oak

In the shadow of the dying oak,

I saw the tree-rings of our love

expand beyond beleaguered bark,

pushing ever-outward across the grass,

toward the stone-wrapped garden,

where wildflowers bloom and beam

in the summer sun, eternally eaten by deer.

I could crawl the distance, lush, Edenic,

spilling past the hard-edged lawn,

turning its back on the lightning strike

that burned a hole in the oak’s hale heart.

Chambers filled with simmering sap

that drowned the tree in its own life-blood.

Branches broke into blossom, only to scream for air.

How the world survives its inward demise

cannot be taught. Trees speak nothing but squeak

and groan. Deer skitter. Daylight seeps

into my clouded eye, the allure of clear vision.

Colors, shapes, the clutch of limbs bracing

against the storm, which blows where it will,

as restive as the spirit’s sweep, as our love.

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