My grandmother’s oak (I think of it as hers)
Is growing old now, with some branches bare;
I watch it, fleeting, from the passing train,
And think back fifty years, when she was there.
All histories bear their own entanglements,
And I, still near a child, I did not know,
And know not yet what she was to herself,
Or how her years spelled out their ebb and flow.
Now, looking back, my guesses grow more sharp,
But, sharper still, the holes I cannot guess,
Yet she is still a memory of love,
A shade within my childhood’s wilderness.