The Solitary Oak
The solitary oak has always lived
on our hill with southward slant.
When that future-destined beauty
turned within the acorn's shell,
and daily sun stoked the nestling green,
barrier walls were broken down,
and skyward leap was dearly won.
Now, mature and grown to fullness,
when in summer rounded green,
and with autumn russet colors,
there is in each a passing beauty.
But I love the tree more in winter,
when loss of leaves reveals
the myriad of branching limbs,
a wooden maze for months disguised,
showing memories of wind and storm.
Neither hiding the sun nor giving shade,
dignity born of naked profusion,
now less to embrace the sound of wind,
still giving more for eyes to see,
this tree that rides the slanting hill.
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"The Solitary Oak" is about a favorite tree, a constant companion in my life's journey. Born and raised in rural Virginia, the lovely rolling hills and fertile farmland left a deep and lasting impression. In veterinary practice for over forty years, animals and their families still bring pleasure, and as a lifelong walker, I am daily attracted to the beauty in nature. My earliest memories are of being encouraged to read, and I was drawn to poetry, the words and musical rhythms by writers whose works are the foundation of English Literature. Now I enjoy writing.