Shriveled, old, unbattered but scarred
Beside the walk of neighbor's yard
And wrinkles, folds, long-laced skin
around the hardy, hearty flesh
which always seems to make me grin.
Bumps and bends and trunks descend
and branches branch and gashes mend
and leaves are gone but Spring will send
life back into wearied roots.
The moon above and cold below
and ground still whiter with the snow
and I can barely feel my toes
but the tree is textured lovely.
And my fingers all numb
but as I run my thumb
on bark, I can feel the honor
and great strength of the beast
which in yearly feast
and winter's brave retreat
has lasted the time it has stood.
And it stands rightly, straightly,
nightly standing for right and good.
And it gives glory to God and humbly stands on
and reminds me that, just so, I should.
So intricate and precious
unnecessary but lustrous
A gift so full and fibrous
for our warmth, our homes, our pens, our shade, our stools and benches and desks and beds, our violins and statues and boxes and altars, and our love as we look at the tree.
They don't call it poetry for nothing.