Silently progressing towards her,
Crying unexplained tears,
We inched our way towards
Her elegantly dressed grace.
Greeting us with every branch’s spring growth,
Draped elegantly in Spanish moss,
We bowed and she smiled;
We threw her kisses and honored her.
“Wow, she must be old, very old,”
“Oh, oh my, she’s grand.
Look at her. Just look at her outstretched arms.”
We walked a little closer.
“Do you hear that?” they asked.
“No,” I replied, “but I see them.”
Hundreds of bees coming in and out of her
House of unending welcome . . .
Maybe a bear like Winnie the Pooh
Had been there once upon a time, too.
Lifting her limbs in all four directions,
She stately prepared to bow again
While two branches performed a ballet,
As two others allowed a squirrel to sit motionless,
Waiting for a hawk visitor to pass.
She smiles, sways, and opens her heart to strangers again.
“We think she’s 800 to 1000 years old.”
Her bark is dry and cracked;
Her limbs have grown heavy and dropped to the ground,
Only to hold more live oak at the tips of each branch,
Grandmother tree brought us to silence.
“Grandmother, we are listening.”
“If you’ve been here since 1208 . . .”
Speechless again, we waited in silence.
Clearly the oldest tree we’ve ever seen,
We wonder how she survived
Her life on a plantation next to a swamp,
Through war and pestilence.
Happy Mother’s Day,