The oak has its own thoughts
& jots them down on every leaf,
green ink on green—invisible.

But if you stand beneath it,
Looking up through foliage into the sun,
You can almost read
The spidery, convoluted script.

I’ve seen the wind spend hours up there
Turning those little pages,
Now & then coming upon phrases
So eloquent, so wise
They take its breath away.

Don Thompson

About the poet: Don Thompson has had poems in Atlanta Review, Rattle, JAMA, Marlboro Review, and elsewhere. He and his wife Chris live in the house she grew up in on her family’s cotton farm in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Her grandfather planted the oak in the front yard, now about forty feet tall, never pruned. He teaches at a prison, driving the back roads every morning to get there--which has provided the stuff of many if not most of his nature poems. Recent publications include Been There, Done That and Turning Sixty from March Street Press, Sittin’ on Grace Slick’s Stoop from Pudding House, and forthcoming from Parallel Press, Where We Live.