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Damaged Dogwood

By John I. Blair

Many years ago
Tenderly I planted you
In sandy loam
Beside my drive.

Time passed,
Season after season,
As time does
When the world is real.

You grew and grew,
Sheltered by the loom
Of a nearby ash tree,
Watered by the rains.

With age came beauty:
White spring blooms,
Green summer leaves,
Red winter berries.

“Prettiest dogwood on the block”
I’d joke, for truth to say
You also were, as anyone could see,
The only dogwood on the block.

Then catastrophe.
Wind felled the ash
That heretofore
Had blessed you.

Crashing limbs
Broke half your branches
To the earth,
Damaged all the rest.

So now’s when I must trust,
Trust those parts I never see,
The roots and rootlets underground
That tie you to the soil, your home,
That feed, that heal.
And hope the same for me.

©2020 John I. Blair, 11/8/2020

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