live oak.

Quercus virginiana, Dallas TX (May 5,2022)
There is a tree at the heart 
of our house. A live oak 
reaching up in three directions, 
waist-thick master branches 
rough & mossy. 
I imagined it as mine 
the moment I saw it. 
The house would belong to all. 
The tree to me. 

From beneath it, I can see 
into each room. I don't look up 
often enough. I look around,
from window to window, 
at my family, my house 
alive & secure. A life-size diorama 
I'm growing old in. 

Every few years the tree gets trimmed, 
sometimes as much as a third of it 
gets sawn off, mulched, & driven away. 
The dust settles bright & aromatic, 
a sandy pattern within 
the ridges of the roots. 
The canopy lifted, 
the shade dappled anew.  

And my tree bounces back, 
quickly dense again with leaves, 
stretching up imperceptibly, 
inch by delicate inch over 
the chimney, over me. 
I sit, book & wine at hand. 
Breathing deep & waiting 
to be called back inside, 
back home. 

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