I CONSIDER THE OAK

 

For her lumber is golden and strong;
for she gives houses and ships,
cradles and caskets and casks.
For the people share her abundant fruit.
For her bark is purple and thick
and good medicine.

For she feeds the forest:
squirrel and chipmunk,
jay, turkey, deer, woodrat and mouse,
woodpecker, pigeon, pig.
For her hollows give shelter to bee and owl.

For her roots tap deep.
For her twig tips cluster.
For her Spring candles glow yellow
and her Lammas shoots are pink.
For her green is protection from the sun.
For her leaves rattle in the autumn wind.
For her winter shape is pleasing
and her branches bear the weight of snow.

For she carries the mistletoe
and casts away the curse.
For a leaf caught in the air shelters
and an acorn on the sill protects.
For she draws the lightning
and carries its mark.
For she is knotted by the bitter gall.
For she does not bow to the storm.
For her bent boughs send up straight shoots.

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