Linda Farmer Ames
Columbus Branch, Georgia
I, mighty oak, have stood rooted here
for greater than one hundred years,
surrounded by brothers and sisters,
all of Mother Nature’s children.
We poked the skies, loomed over heaps of fallen limbs,
leaves and brush, and beneath all that made homes
for living creatures who died and decayed
to create a bounty of nutrients for growth, rebirth.
Now I stand alone, no longer part of a forest of kin.
My expanse of roots, gnarled and exposed from years of
wind and water, heat and cold, reach out and around.
I remain to give shade, disperse sun’s rays, cool the ground.
The expanse of grasses planted fifty years ago,
groomed faithfully, are fed, managed by
manufactured matter. My limbs have been trimmed
or removed, yet I remain firmly planted among
glass, bricks, mortar, cement and asphalt.
I have survived these ravages dispatched by mankind
who has lived strong and mighty, frail and weak,
who has prevailed. All vulnerable, we live and die in a circle of time.