St. Francis And The Live Oak

June 10, 2021. Today brought closure to stress related to our 500-year-old live oak – steadily declining the past ten years in spite of treatment for oak wilt disease. The crew came Tuesday, again Wednesday, again this morning to bring down the last of the five trunks growing from a common base. Agile men scrambled up, up into the branches with chain saws and ropes. Sections of limbs were lassoed, then cut free to swing downward at calculated angles that precluded damage to yaupons growing up and through live oak, as well as fence and crew members. An amazing display of skills and teamwork!

They arrived this morning just as I began a zoom session focused on becoming a peace agent, letting the St. Francis Prayer guide current life – my current thoughts dominated by chain saws. Just as the zoom concluded, the crew pulled away, leaving only the stump and my swirl of memories of the former tree: first glimpse in 1986 while shopping for a house in this area; my teenage son casually perched on one of the overhanging limbs calling down “Hey, Mom!”; prolific bird visitations (even one raven); cat chasing squirrel among the branches (squirrel retreating on underside of branch beneath confused cat); and many private conversations between me and tree.

Relieved that the inevitable is now behind us – tomorrow we begin restoring yard art and flowerpots moved out of the crew’s way – including statues of Buddha and St. Francis. A few flower pots will be placed on trunk pedestals – still huggable.

Survivor’s Love Song

October 14, 2016.  I’ve been immersed in another poetry class with Lorraine Mejia @ http://www.lorrainemejia.com/ – this one working with Latin American Poets.  Wonderful exposures to poems I otherwise might not encounter, plus stimulus to write poems I otherwise might not.  The poem below is indirectly in response to reading Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Song Of The Barren Orange Tree” – and in gratitude for the live oak tree in my front yard.   I offer this in explanation:

Presumptuous, yes

Nevertheless descriptive

of years together

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