The Magic Oak

W.A. Pattillo Elementary School - Tarboro, NC 1978 (2)

Story #1
A giant oak tree stood in the middle of the School parking lot! Rumor has it the center was hollow, and inside lived the souls of teachers from the past.
They called it the Feel-Good Tree, because anyone who stood under it lost the stress of their day. Its magical qualities had been shared for almost a hundred years. Children played around the tree while waiting for their buses. Teachers stood by in the shade and shared the day’s gossip.
The School board decided to build a new building that would be located right where the oak tree stood. Sadly. Taking Down the Tree occurred in the summer when almost everyone was gone. As the roar of the chain saws marked the end of the magical tree, no one heard the mournful cries of the souls of the teachers who resided there for generations.Dwight's Class in front of our Giant Oak 001 (2)

Today at d’Verse Victoria asked us to write Flash Fiction prose of not more than 144 words. She gave us a line from one of Jane Kenyon poems. Jane Kenyon was born in 1947 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was once the Poet Lauriat of New Hampshire. The line we had to include in our story was: Taking Down the Tree.
I took a photo of our giant oak tree from my former teaching days and created my story.

I realized after the fact that I got the wrong line in my story. It was supposed to be:  If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.

I edited the ending to my story and inserted the correct line. Below is the revised version.

Story #2   The Magic Oak 

A giant oak tree stood in the middle of the School parking lot! Rumor has it the center was hollow, and inside lived the souls of teachers from the past.
They called it the Feel-Good Tree, because anyone who stood under it lost the stress of their day. Its magical qualities had been shared for almost a hundred years. Children played around the tree while waiting for their buses. Teachers stood by in the shade and shared the day’s gossip.
The School board decided to build a new building that would be located right where the oak tree stood. As the roar of the chain saws marked the end of the magical tree, no one heard the mournful cries of the souls of the teachers who resided there for generations. As they disappeared, they said, “If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.”

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

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Laid to Rest

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Leaves are laid to rest;
Blanketing the ground around the stones
of those already laid to rest.
Golden brown they fall
scattering in the wind // drifting gently;
A covering for those who have already
passed the winter of their life…
and those who left much too soon.
Soon the oak will be bare of leaves
its branches reaching up toward the blue sky.
Standing tall and stately over the cemetery
it knows when Spring comes
new life
will be drawn from its roots.
And, when this winter is past
it will put out new leaves
that will, once again, shade those
 who have already been laid to rest.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am also posting this for d’Verse Poets Pub open link night.

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Rooted in the Rocks

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Along the banks of the James River, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we found this giant oak tree, standing seventy or more feet tall. It was obvious that over the years flood waters washed against the roots exposing them to the elements. The roots adapted by covering themselves with bark. But even more importantly, they embedded themselves between the layers of uplifted rock. As a result of these muscular roots, the tree has withstood the ravages of nature and still stands today!

Oak’s muscular roots

Flex against layers of stone

Branches reach the sky

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posted on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub

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