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The Oak There

By John I. Blair

The oak there in the yard
I planted twenty years ago
When it like me was six feet tall.
Now its sixty; and Im 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 Id dug,

Strapped it to a stake for strength,
Then scraped a ringwall all around
To well the water that Id 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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