Today, my mom and my husband and I all worked to remove the enormous root of an old Oak Tree in which I spent much of my childhood. It died long ago due to a disease and had to be cut down. I still remember the sadness in my heart when my Mom called and told me that my tree was gone. Yes, sadder things have happened. Much sadder. But still it was the home of so many memories and so many hours of my childhood. It felt strange today as I took a pick axe and an axe to its enormous roots, so deep, so multi-directional, so huge. But love that tree as much as I did, it has got to go to make way for new life. We are planting a new baby tree and we need that plot of earth for it. Tomorrow I imagine we’ll all be incredibly sore. But tonight I just couldn’t help but write a poem about my old friend, the Oak Tree.
My Old Friend
There once was an old oak tree
which lived in my yard and my heart,
and into its arms I’d run, so free,
and into God’s earth and His art.
It’s there I would swing and play
in its leafy, serene embrace
and spend in it half of a day
on a horse or in outer space.
I’d climb to its fingertips tall,
hugging branches and limbs so tight
for love and for fear I would fall
from my tree, my home in the heights.
It sized me up with its door.
the entry branch said when I’d grown.
It seemed far from the ground floor
that branch, my deciduous throne.
It grew as I grew and changed too,
until one day it felt so old,
as seasons were changing my hue,
that its leaves faded from gold.
Leave came to my bowery friend
and it shed its Springtime dress.
But I’ve a store, a trunk of pretend
and memories I still possess.
Her source went deeper than a blade,
in heart and terrestrial plot.
To uproot it all, I’m afraid,
like untangling a Gordian knot.
by Nancy Doud