The Oak

Beatriz Stanwood

All my yolk trickles forth onto soft ground.
I stare unblinking as it hardens and crumbles into dust;
It is now an essence unknown—separate from me, newly departed. I watch it
Sink into earth beneath my soles.
I am full of yearning
For something fresh, to awaken the vibrancy of youth again—
A forest to grow and a river to flow—
But all my teeth have gone from my head,
And all my veins have split into snakes.
I must be grateful for this—
A miniscule loss to gain plenty
As I familiarize my soul with that of the earth
And the trees all watch eagerly.
I have much to offer, and there is no stopping it.
Undoing or becoming?
All of the green receives, and it is little to ask
Considering what I’ve taken.
I give, now, what I can,
Until all that’s left is one dream,
As I sink into oak beside the sparkling stream the children now play in.

It must be May now.
Many years has it taken to arrive here,
But I am a tree, and it feels like no time to me.
I sit here and watch—some of the children know me,
But most of them pass by without seeing. I don’t mind.
Occasionally, I will get a hug or two. A secret if I’m lucky. And the years whirl by.
And I hope to be right here
Until the sun explodes, when I shall return—
To nowhere I have never been,
Onward into another dream