Of Sprouting and Growing

While walking the grounds of Bon Secours,
I found a tiny maple
sprouted in the low split of an eighty-foot oak.

Some seed had made its way,
guided by wind and gravity
and perhaps the levity of God,

to land in the lap of this old tree.
It sprouted in the furrowed water and humus,
managed to lift a slender stem toward the sun.

Eventually, I suppose, if something like this
really can grow,
its two dozen leaves on half that many stems,

will one day lift its own limbs,
large and heavy
to form its own canopy here amidst the others

If it can sink its own roots
down through the heart
of this ancient tree.

Or it may discover
that though it may find enough here
for its own small beginning

there is not enough of water and soil
caught in the crotch of this old oak
and it may in fact shrivel and die

in this lonely place that was never intended
to be the beginning of something
meant to be as large as another tree.

It is not an easy thing
to find that one may have been planted
in a place not meant for one’s growing.

Sometimes what was taken for sowing
was nothing more than circumstance and chance,
the whims of the wind and a brief fluttering

of falling seed.

But then again,
even a tree
can sometimes be moved

to a place of better growing.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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