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  • Judy Slater

In the Woods, A Very Crooked Tree

Brave, clever tree…

What path your detour from nature’s upright call?

What thoughts neighbor trees harbor

watching as you proclaim your independence?

What safe harbor your twisted nooks and crannies

provide to the hawk-escaping squirrels?

What notice hikers pay coming upon your gnarled presence?

Were you born to this shape,

or did some surprise deter your destiny?

Yet you stand, crooked and leaning,

your leaf-buds tender as your neighbors’.

You are all alike, not in shape or form, but in purpose.

Brave, clever tree…

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