Photo by Janice Eskridge, altered by Christopher Raley

Twisted Tree

I thank the twisted tree
whose leaning trunk and
twining limbs have endured

cursing from the wind,
anger from the wind,
and the wind’s betrayal
for he also caressed her.

But the wind tore of the tree
her searching, her hanging branches
so she grew tightly tangled
and wild headed for shade.

Now she grows a beauty
of strength and peace,
and peace all the more she grows
having wrapped in strength.

Her children climb on her
in the morning sun,
and I stretch around her
in the evening. I am

a fortress hunkering down.
The wind is hard on my back
and I thank God for the twisted tree.

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