Time, And The Oak

remembering the formal years and earlier ownership
Pic: is of the very tree that stood at what was one
corner of our lawn


Recorded while happening
and varying in significance,
older memories disperse
into fleeting sequences,
waxing and waning, causing
the aging mind to randomly
pendulate between short
snippets of its rich history.

Physical, iconic triggers of
memory, whose extra meaning
often survive in just one mind,
can capture and hold thoughts
in revitalising contemplation.

Like this defensive extrusion
on a centuries-old oak,
once the hatchet cuts from a boy
being last-of-the-Mohicans after
Saturday matinee – to close the
damage, bark’s ruffled out with
each new year to become –
an emerging barn owl!

Stroking this knurled callus,
an act of sorrow and redemption,
justaposition of road and tree
orientates me back spatially too,
helps map out layout of house and
garden, where war-born children
start to play….

With eyes closed listening, I loiter
immersed in mental revendication,
until an alarmed blackbird,
unaware of our ancestral bond,
broadcasts my trespass.

Not understanding why people
can and must venture away,

trees, at any moment, allowed to remain,
will welcome and reinvigorate those
who once grew up around them,
help them find
earlier selves again.


© Gothicman 2023
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