104. Flint Hills Patriarch

The old elm suckled from this seep before

cattle drank from the Neosho, when

bison angled trails from water to water

and Kansa were people of the land.


It wrestled Southwind,

carried its omnipresent weight,

bowed in submission yet  took strength

from it.  Standing alone in the tall grass


like a tilted vase, it reaches

for those who belonged, points

at those who lost faith and inquires

of those who pass by.

— H.C. Palmer

HC Palmer is a physician who was born in Southeast Kansas and spent much of his time growing up in the Flint Hills which is his “anchor” place although he considers the Madison Valley in Montana and the Florida Keys as important places too.  He lives in  Lenexa where he writes poems in his  old age.


One thought on “104. Flint Hills Patriarch

  1. I just love poems about old trees, especially when they give me a history lesson in the process. Well done!

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