The great oak, gnarled and gutted at the root,
felled by age and freakish storm,
lay trembling athwart the shoulders
of a sapling green in years.
Its mildewed branches clutch
the tender unsung leaves and buds
a-gasp for air and space to grow,
to spread its youthful flutterings in the Spring.
Our instinct is to hew the oak
to free the sapling from its grasp,
to open up to skies anew
a stunted, youthful life.
Yet not for us the same decree
while still we pay no heed
and unyielding bear the heavy weight
of sorrows past upon our back.