Ode to the Angel Oak, by W. Anderson Lee

a massive live oak tree bathed in glory and sunshine, limbs outstretched like a mother holding her child, the earth below


In dreams Columbus came to me
With notions of a holy tree
Which would sprout in days just after he
Would discover this Land of the Free
He died inside my bed that night
And ages passed as the tree knew heights
To long surpass wars between black and red and white
American dynasties always shorter lived than its silhouette backdrop Atlantic light

Ghosts of slaves and tourists alike
Would haunt the mighty live oaks life
Climbing heavy all its children
Limbs spread out like rolling hills when
Suddenly my morning wake
My pillow hot and sheets went shake
I rushed to find its shady bows
And know that years and years from now
How this Angel Oak had long before this nation’s birth
Grown wise with time and thick with girth
That I would hope to have looked back on my short time and lived it well
Long before her hundreds of rings would break, had fell.