Howard Steng


On Visiting an Oak Tree in Warwick


I breathe the same painted blue sky
under a canopy of pointed leaves
brushed with white cloud
where I dreamt my legs were covered
with clover, chamomile and vine
while I lie beneath, sinewy roots grounding me,
during flights of string'd quartets and Mars,
longing to leave the ghetto,
my father's tread of indifference.

I was Zeus waiting for Kronos,
wanting to be devoured each time
while my mother chopped excuses for dinner
hiding obsessions only for him,
the mouse asking for a ride across the lake
fully aware of consequences,
or the first billy goat answering the troll
with only a fairy tale of his brother's bleat.

Once again, the rich expanse of branches,
red leaves reaching from stoic trunk
embrace me,
an old owl hooting on high, larger than life
an acorn drops singular,
as if God were teaching me of nature's laws,
how I would one day stand solid like a tree.

Submitted: Sunday, July 20, 2014

Topic of this poem: memories


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