ILLUSTRATIONS BY LINDA COOK DEVONA
Planted no bigger than a pencil,
Work-worn hands lovingly tended you.
Your thirst quenched by water from a green plastic hose.
You are no hybrid—you’re nothing special.
You are a seed dropped from a pine cone when it was ripe;
Rescued by a neighbor and kindly given as a gift.
Patted into the sand in front of a new home;
You braved Iowa summers, survived wind and blizzards, too.
Hail has bounced off you and you have been aglow
with Christmas lights.
But now you stand fifteen feet tall—Too big to wrap our arms
Swaying in the wind,
covered with ice—