The Oak There
John I. Blair
The oak there in the yard
I planted twenty years ago
When it like me was six feet tall.
Now it’s sixty; and I’m sixty nine
But no longer six feet tall myself.
Twenty years ago that afternoon
I cradled it, unwrapped it,
Slipped it gently in the hole I’d dug,
Strapped it to a stake for strength,
Then scraped a ringwall all around
To well the water that I’d brought.
Now, after twenty years, its trunk
Far thicker than my thigh,
Its limbs and branches
Number more than I can count,
Its top mounts to the sky.
I marvel at the sight
Of something I once nurtured
Grown so strong and destined
(I believe) to live a century or two
Beyond the night when I shall need
Another spot, another well
To take the water that I hold,
Asked to do a harder task.
©2010 John I. Blair
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