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Terri Kirby Erickson – Poem

Oak Tree

Leaning over a farmhouse where the same
Family has lived for generations,
Stands an old oak tree: leaves flapping

Harder than wind-blown housecoats hung
On a clothesline—roots rummaging
Under the porch for a comfortable pair

Of shoes. It spends the days basking
In sunlight, or catching raindrops in each
Green palm. In winter, its bare limbs tap, tap

Against the darkening sky as it waits
Impatiently for snow—its boughs like empty
Cradles, rocking. It beckons men

And women from the fields in the evenings,
With branches waving like their mothers used
to do when it was time for supper. And

It comforts them to know that year after year,
This ancient oak keeps watch outside their
Little farmhouse, its arms spread wide

Over their comings and goings, their weddings
And funerals, births and baptisms, firmly
Anchored in the hallowed ground of home.


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Southern Fiction, Poetry, Essays & More Since 1995
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