The Wise Old Oak

His is a noble presence,
this wise old oak.
Nearly three-hundred years old,
besieged by lightning strikes,
insect attacks and underground menaces,
with the help of neighboring species,
woodpeckers who dined on hole-boring beetles,
roots that went deep and broad
and an underground network to spread the news,
he stood his ground.

Blossoming every three years,
he provided acorns for wood ducks, wild turkeys, 
white-tailed deer, rabbits, mice and squirrels,
wagon wheels and shade for pioneers,
and healing remedies for the First Nations. 
This storehouse of wisdom,
living example of how evolution works,
improves the taste of wine
and lives as a reminder that all great things
begin with a seed.
                                                     David L. Smith

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