Hacking, thrashing through
crunchy, hard reed-covered banks
I stand alone at the river’s edge
Currents whip past


My roots dig deep
into the loess underfoot
Waving to barges, speedboats
Days go past


Loose, long limbs 
hold homes for fat fireflies
A lazy raccoon holds court
throwing fish bones all around


Settlers aim for me
considering whether to chop me down
They all wondered 
if they could chop me down


Still I stand 
150 years later not defeated
Tent caterpillars, pioneer axes, tornadoes
Be damned


I’m the Lone Tree
Standing taller than all
Friends long gone, family carried away
downstream


This life is mine.

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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