(Quercus agrifolia)

Look at this trunk, burnt hollow,
         keyholed from side to side.
                  Yet, in spite of a few dead limbs,
                           a crown of leaves pushes against

the patient sky. So we might
         flourish, in spite of ourselves,
                  evacuated of fortitude. Paul
                           said it: in weakness, strength;

in death, life. I don’t know how.
         But most days, a long resilience
                  of xylem and phloem.
                           Of chlorophyll. Ex nihilo.