strong oak woman
momma said that you’d plant
cherry trees with that soul of fire
so your hands dropped low into
soil and became roots

you are now a forest that no
man will ever cut upon

birds resting on shoulders
strong oak woman

in others
you find branches extending longer
than you thought limbs could ever go

they will teach you how they
have done it how they have
sheltered themselves underneath
their own shade

carve into their bark your name
strong oak woman

then soon
growing growing

now grass now cricket
now stream will ask how
you have found your way

tell them that this forest is a haven
that photosynthesis is his name
the curve in your back a small windstorm
birds resting on shoulders

they have taught you well
strong oak woman