when I was a little girl,
I learned a beech tree doesn't conduct lightning,
how I found this out, who told me,
where the information was stored (before my own head) I have no idea
but in a storm, I knew the safest place to be was under a beech tree
others might shiver into splinters but a beech tree never could,
holding on to its wood and standing, if bowed, as thunder and rain beat down.
I've never seen a beech tree, never felt its limbs over me,
never looked up, sure of my own safety,
but I'm still looking, even when the sky is blue,
because somehow it must be true,
somehow all the little things a little girl believes must come true when you need
and I believe in beech trees, standing up to lightning,
if nothing else, I can tell my younger self, in all this frightening world,
something's there for you, one thing, one little thing, one little thing you always
knew, is true.
Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.