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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


by Thomas D. Reynolds

I'm dying,
cried the oak,
though I never dreamed
I'd lived forever.
That pine
with top half
cropped by two lightning strikes
stands over one hundred years old
yet pleases no one,
not even the boy
who builds tents beneath it
and carves initials in the bark.
Even he complains
about the smell,
the bitter sap
that stains the hands,
how fallen needles
poison the grass.
Yet in late afternoon
he sits in my dwindling shade
and writes a poem
lauding the stoic pine,
how it endures the seasons.
It's easy to be stoic
if you're a pine tree
or young.

Thomas D. Reynolds received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University, currently teaches at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, Flint Hills Review, The MacGuffin, The Cape Rock, The Pedestal Magazine, Eclectica, Strange Horizons, Combat, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, and Ash Canyon Review.