A tree grew in my neighborhood that all the kids did climb,
I never knew who owned it, but I guess he didn't mind,
For people came from all 'bout town to sit 'neath its canopy,
To talk, and laugh, and sing, and share a favorite memory.
It was a giant oak tree, or so my daddy said was so,
But to me it was the greatest thing my mind would ever know.
I'd look up through its massive limbs as I lay there on the ground,
And think how nothing in this world could ever bring it down.
We've shared my fifty years of life; I've returned from time to time,
Each time finding new evidence that nature had been unkind.
A mighty flood raged through the town back in 1965.
Many a tree in its path were gone when the water did subside.
But the roots of the stubborn oak tree held as the current did its best
To undermine its earthly grip--the oak had fairly stood the test.
Many times throughout the years violent storms have passed on high,
And loosed their mighty lightning bolts at the oak as it crept by.
Not once, but twice, they found their mark, yet the oak tree stood defiant,
Its armor marred with ugly scars---but still lived the mighty giant.
But, alas, today I sat and watched as the mighty oak tree died,
And as it toppled to the ground I hung my head and cried.
For though I'd seen it hold its own against many foes, I guess
There was no way for it to stand against man and his progress.
No more will children climb its limbs, not folks find its shady spot,
For where stood my mighty oak tree has become a parking lot.