There is an old sycamore tree
Approximately seventy feet high
At least twenty three feet around
Measured six feet above the ground.

It has a very small canopy

Leaves are few and skimpy
Trunk completely hollow inside
How does this tree survive?

Walk inside the entry hole
Lightening struck long ago
Created vaulted ceiling very high
Seven adults can stand inside.

Rockbound roots its water seek

Ages this tree has been growing here
Always reaching higher into the air.

Hollow sycamore shouldn’t still be alive
Yet every passing year it seems to thrive
It adapts to what its fate must be
People, its life unlocks a mystery!

A person wounded deep inside
Survives and keeps up their stride
On the path that takes them home
Marvels like the sycamore in this poem

Walt Birdwell June 2013

Author: Walter Birdwell

Born in Missouri in 1942, Walter Birdwell graduated from the University of Missouri in 1964 with a BA in creative writing. Immediately enlisted in the US army to avoid the draft and was in the US army from 1964 to 1967. Married Yolanda Garza a month after discharge from the Army and have been married forty-five years. Walter is a progressive political activist and has been for about fifty years and a follower of Pagan religious tradition for about twenty years. Have previously published newspaper articles in The Southern Patriot and the New York City Guardian newspapers (both defunct progressive newspapers) in the 1970s and have recently published articles in The Missouri Chigger, an Ozark area magazine, and the Brownsville Herald. Enjoys writing, sculpture, hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.


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