The roots of the gnarly tree run deep

The roots of the gnarly tree run deep.

The untroubled tree
grows straight and smooth,
beautiful and proud
treetops vanishing into the sky,
towering over lessor beings.

The gnarly tree rests close
to the earth, and twists about
from knocks and blows;
rough skinned from exposure
and bowed with time.

The untroubled tree commands
respect as you sit hand over eyes
trying to see the upper branches.
Wrapping arms around it your
hands fail to touch and the bark
leaves no impression.

But the gnarly tree invites one
to sit beneath its shade
and nestle among its roots;
To rub your cheek against the rough
texture of the bark
and breath in the rich scent;
To lean back among the branches
letting them wrap about you
in an embrace both green and old.

Shelley Powers


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