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One hundred years ago
A gray squirrel
Instinctively preparing for a cold mountain winter
Buried me as an acorn
Under a layer of brown leaves on a gentle slope
With every intention of coming back for me
When she awakened out of a winter nap
I would have been a tasty treat
On a frosty day.

I was fortunate that the squirrel
Who buried me
Not far from where my mother had dropped me,
Had so many other acorns
That autumn all those years ago
That she forgot about me.

As I lay there on the forest floor
Just under the surface of the Earth
I became covered with soil and leaves
And was left alone.
Solitude and soil
Gave me time and nourishment.
I sprouted and survived
When thousands around me did not.

Today I feed as many species of animals, plants, and fungi
As any other species on Earth.
I am home to the descendants
Of the squirrel who planted me.
I have been home
To innumerable birds and bugs.
My roots live symbiotically
With miles of mycorrhizal fungi,
My xylem and phloem
Are busy passageways for nutrients
That I take from the sun and the soil
At my leaves and root tips.
I reproduce abundantly.

Most of my acorns
Will be devoured
Or decay into soil.
But a few, out of the multitude
That I drop over my lifetime
Will become my children
And carry my genes
into the next century.


  1. A nicely done scientific and poetic personification of the plant life cycle.

  2. Nice reflections on the circle of like. Thanks.

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