HomeSouthern VoiceThe Oak in the Front Yard

The Oak in the Front Yard

By Robert Baylot

A short throw from the concrete porch,
Mama’s climbing red roses,
A gravel driveway,
A mailbox portal to the world,
Stands the water oak.
The oak shadowed the grass,
Oozed a palette of greenness,
All seasons wrapped up in its leaves.
Yellow and brown in fall and winter,
A color-deficient kaleidoscope,
Easier to climb then,
Not as much natural competition.
My oak staircase,
A way up, a vantage point on what
A small yard could not show.
There, an invisible I,
While life passed by on foot
And in cars and trucks.
Almost like a sister or brother,
Present always in my days,
Pointing outward toward nature,
Pointing toward worldly wisdom.
Had it had been just wood,
Cut and prepped like a book’s pages,
Would it have carried a wisdom
Now unread in oak pages?


Robert Baylot has published poetry in Voices International, Blackberry and Clarion Lit. With a master’s degree in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, his writings have largely focused on Southern life. He worked for many years in support of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. Read his previous poem in Deep South here.

Tiffany Quay Tyson o