It is like fire, red fire flying. It is a piece of fire that got away, a flame that rises alone and perches high in a pine tree.

It is tall, taller than a man, and follows the sun with its huge head. It has thousands of black eyes like a fly. It grows fast and has wild yellow hair that sticks straight out.

Hides in leaves. It is like a leaf that walks and has eyes and nostrils. Sometimes it changes to a wooden color. Its throat pokes out pink like a rose petal.

Live Oak
Wise one. Muscular, dark, strong. When not cut off, its many great arms touch the ground for balance in fierce winds. After rain, it looks like a green hairy beast, ancient, beautiful, and still. Old ones grow long curly grayness that sways and sounds like a dream.

A root broken away, preferring to be alone.

Jan Villarrubia
from her book Return to Bayou Lacombe
Cinnamon Press, 2008

used with permission of the poet

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