There used to be an oak tree there
Not the tallest, nor the greenest
Had hardened bark, enough to spare
Not the kindest, though not the meanest

Its roots–they ran down deep
Its branches–they grew wide
Rest beneath its shade, one could keep
And in its shadow hide

Standing straight, season to season
In winds, it did not waver
Resisted some by its own reason
Though in most eyes found favor

It flourished well, e’en past its prime
Though from grief was not spared
Of every chastening rod of time
It was not unaware

Yet when old age took strength and stature
Its core was not made hollow
Its seasoned spine felt not a fracture
Still in its way could follow

In time, it felt the devastation 
Of inexorable loss
Torn in half; an amputation
Wore sorrow’s dreadful dross

Yet from its place, it was not moved 
And some–thought lost–relieved it
Came near with hope they’d be approved
Sought grace–and they received it

Filled all with hope for endless day
When gave its final prayer
Now we can look, and point, and say,
“There used to be an oak tree there.”

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