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A twisted and gnarled Sycamore
By the creek
With exposed roots twisting and grasping
Around a pile of rocks
The soil long since washed away —
An old wound
From years of enduring
The beating pounding of winter floods.

But oh! This tree thrives!
Its branches spread wide in the sunshine
The tips of its roots reach into the cool water
In its exquisite beauty —
Accepting life's gifts.

I too, like the Sycamore,
Am gnarled inside by life's blows.
May I also be like that Sycamore —
Not diminished by life's blows
But made more beautiful in holding them —

With always my toes in the water
And my face toward the sun.

~Anne Bach