The Funniest Oak

Oak, son of Quercus, son of Beech
you astonish me.
A burl-backed librarian bent with age,
you might have been an owly tree
but Bacchanalian atoms
still revel in your limbs and leaves!
In you they itemize the drops of rain –
ocean loans – to be returned again –
feverish, they archive in your foliage,
the folios they play and prove how oft
you’ve seen the glorious oriflamme fly
(three hundred thousand days
the Sun marched down to fight
and died at the hands of English nights!)

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