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A Woman's Gingko Tree
    In memory of Vennie Lee Roberts
by Frederic W. Bassett

When she first traveled with us,
it unnerved me when she would slyly
take a cutting of some special shrub
to root for this old home place.

Her gingko now stretches for the sky‐
grace from a single seed she
first dropped in a black purse,
three hundred miles from here.

I watch a blue-gray flycatcher
forage the gingko's bright autumn gold
and then hum an old ballad she would sing
to my boys in the porch swing.

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