oak tree

There was the day

you knew to call it an oak

as it towered gently over you.

Gentle because it is a comforter,

and old — shade and wisdom

like our grandparents,

our great-grandparents.

Beneath, a child like me,

is a broad-leafed tree I do not know,

despite rustling the pages

of the field guide.

It carries large flat leaves

with three distinct lobes but no

rough edges — varicose veins,

it seems stressed, tired by life.

And above that but before the sky,

touching canopy is, I think, an ash tree.

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