A Poem Rewrite: This Old Tree

Old TreeI originally started this poem in 2004, a time when I struggling to get on my feet. Last night I finished it. Here it is. I attached a photo taken 20 years ago that must have unconsciously inspired me.

This Old Tree

The old oak tree
stands tall
and crooked.
Its cracked,
coarse and
weathered surface
reflects the assault of the seasons.

Rain,
heat and snow
of seasons past
grated at its surface
with diamond sharp teeth,
digging in,
leaving permanent marks.

In defiance,
the tree stretches,
grows
and moves skyward.
Its roots
reach around rocky obstacles,
firmly anchoring itself to the earth,
exerting strength and desire,
forcing its viability
to grow into yet another season.

With roots
dug deeply
into uninviting
rocky
and inhospitable soil,
the tree forcefully establishes its home.

And the tree proclaims:

“I am a tree
I am from the earth.
Neither floods,
storms,
nor drought
will tear me away
from where my roots cling.

I remain where I belong
The earth is my home.”

Ross Rosenberg
4/11/04

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