Weaker than Water

"In the world, there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it." –Lao Tzu

Being a Tree

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varicose bark veins,
the tree’s bald spot,
fingers wrinkled
in oaken shade,

splinters of a hundred
years–the fire,
the automobile, the war–
the semi-permeable
scent of smoke,
brown skin, white
skin, burnt skin,

some seasons
companion grasses
growing, sometimes left,
sometimes mowed. dew
droppings, bird showers
the indignity of summer
squirrels chuckling
at your age.

Is it so hard

to be a tree?
threat of ax, curse
of being born wood,
and always whispers
of uncertain storms,
you bend your branches,
slice your own trunk,
count your rings, waiting
to come back home.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Copyright 2013

Originally published as “Tree” in the Northern Virginia Review


Author: All Things Writing, LLC

Katherine Gotthardt is CEO of All Things Writing, LLC, a full-service content development and content marketing company. A published writer and seasoned educator, Katherine leads a team of professionals on a mission to make clients shine online and in print.

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