Once in a Winter of discontent
I walked in furrows of deep crusted snow
through a forest of spindly pines and birch
and came upon the ancient oak.

Ten times as thick and twice as tall as they
twice the girth; a man could ne’er embrace
scarred bark where once strong branches thrived
ungainly limbs, gnarled hands and fingers splay

Standing aged, stern and scornful
of the sickly birch and pine;
like me
refusing to believe Spring sun would ever shine

nor would it yield to it’s charm.
“There is no Spring! No charm! No happiness!”
Look at my broken, barked fingers sticking out
where they have grown,  from back and side

As they have grown, so I stand
so I am! and I do not believe
in your hopes
in your lies.

Wild flowers grew beneath it’s limbs
yet it stood among them scowling
rigid, misshapen
grim as ever.

“Yes” I thought
the oak is right
let others, the young yield to hopes and dreams
We two know our life is naught.

Some years later in the Spring
I walked again the forest trod in Winter
and looked upon the same old oak
now quite transfigured

spreading out a canopy of sappy green
it stood, leaves trembling in the breeze
gnarled fingers, doubts nor scars
were no where to be seen.

Through centuries old bark
leaves had sprouted
even where there were no twigs
“Yes” I thought; it is the same oak.

“Life is not over!”
The procession of living goes on!
And I was seized by the unreasoning joy
of Spring; of time and of renewal.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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2 Responses to Oak

  1. beetleypete says:

    A touching tree tribute, Frank. I love trees, especially huge old ones. I wrote about one on my blog too. https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-mighty-oak/
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wfdec says:

    It should be obvious, but the phrase “He’s got a spring in his step” could just as easily be written He’s got Spring in his step” . Your poem just made it so obvious. All old blokes like us should have it framed and put on a wall.

    Liked by 1 person

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