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Dawson Creek Oak
What If Joyce Kilmer Had Seen The Tree?
September 5, 2016

fter every tropical storm, area residents find a few trees have met their demise. But then, there are trees that seem to defy the winnowing. They come through hurricane after hurricane after hurricane.

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It may be good genes — strong roots of live oaks countering the forces of wind and storm surge. Sometimes it’s sinuous vines, grown thick as small tree trunks themselves. They can apply a wrestler’s hold and keep the tree attached to the terra firma.

Nautically speaking, the hook is set. Such a tree seems to never drag anchor.

Photographer Ben Casey had one such tree in mind. Sure enough, the live oak at the Dawson’s Creek bridge was there Saturday, having barely been tested by Hermine.

What if, Ben wondered… What if Joyce Kilmer had been taking Janeiro Road and despite rushing to catch the ferry, paused to take in the stalwart oak. What if it inspired a few words…

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I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

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A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

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A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

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A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

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Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

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Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Posted Monday September 5, 2016 by Ben Casey

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