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The Angel Oak

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I stare at a painting of the Angel Oak above my desk and think about the longevity of its branches

Alive still

Even today

Once climbed upon by natives of her land

Pilgrims’ children, too

I think of the famous row planted centuries ago at Boone Hall

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Oaks stronger than their Pecan brethren

Storms incapable of wresting them down

Branches unfurled in every direction, even parallel, reaching to heaven and hell and outward like a hug

The rows serendipitous and interlocking

Singing in the cover of twisted limbs, twisted roots

Unfettered from last millennium

The breeze strong as a hurricane to shake even one

I see it in the frame beneath this glass above me

The Angel Oak isn’t alone

She cannot fall victim to loneliness, nor abandonment

Her moss covered tentacles pulse all the same

Whether here before or here after, she stands and breathes Lowcountry air on John’s Island

Resolute to face the tide once again

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