THE TREE OF MY LIFE ~BY R.W. STANFIELD

THE TREE OF MY LIFE

It was always the tree
The big, gigantic oak tree
In the backyard
Massive at the bottom
With a scarred, exposed cavity
A secret place
Where I could hide
And so, so tall
Climbing to heaven
Way, way, way up

Branches reached out
Way up in the sky
With green leaves
That showered us below
With acorns
With windfall
That my mother and I
Gathered
Along with scattered twigs
Old gray gnarled remnants
Kindling to stoke the coal furnace
When the Michigan winds began to howl
A tree so big and tall
That the developers thought twice about removing it
“Better not cut that tree down
It’ll take more than three days
And ten trucks to cart that beast away
And who the hell we gonna get to scale that monster?
What if it falls on those new houses?”

So, my oak tree was spared
A tree that took root
When the state was still a territory
A hundred years or more ago
By the new cabins being carved out of the oak forest

To me, it seemed
A special monument had been made for me
Me and my family
Right in the backyard
Of mundane suburban America

The tree’s size spared it
I climbed some
Insignificant offspring
Gazed up at it
Imagined looking down
Seeing our little world
No fences at that time
Just the newly constructed veterans’ housing
In the Oak Tree territory

Trees
That shaded us
Blocked the sunlight
An arboreal blanket
Where tomatoes wouldn’t grow

A mother a father
Two kids
A boy
A girl
A black cat named Ebony
A car
A truck
All protected by its loving branches
The boy who awkwardly climbed
One of its offspring
And for just a moment
Looked
Warily downwards
Then
Looking high
Into the heavens
Followed the sublime outline
Where its branches
Reached infinite possibilities.

____________________________________________

Want to try your hand at poetry? Email me at poeticiapoems@gmail.com

Featured image credits to SuttleMedia on Pixabay

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