“Cottonwood Trees No. 5” by Craig Varjebedian.

At the river’s side
I grow
Taller and taller
through years
Cotton flutters in summer
Bark strong in fall
Among family
I stand strong
though never strong
enough
Father cottonwood,
Grandmother
and the elders around us
are all mighty
Lasting 500 years
they have stood
through it all
at the river’s edge
Come winter
they depend on me
my roots grab shallow
while theirs run deep
Suddenly
we all have purpose
Now, among family
I see
all are mighty
including me.

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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