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I've lived a block from Alta Heights school for 38 years - both of my children attended the school (and playgrounds) happily. Here's a poem to the school's giant live oak tree, which reportedly will be taken down during the winter break.

The Sentinel

Tens of thousands of schoolchildren

wrapped within its shade embrace

the oak was there before the school

but won’t outlive its fate-

because there’s danger when the living

grow too old, and danger when

a beauty turns into a stately crone

whose hips may break, or who may fall

unable to protect what lies beneath

unable to enlarge the love

that she’s been given, but perhaps

the legacy of beauty lodges somewhere

in a child’s heart, and some

small number of those denizens

will cherish nature more

because their sentinel endured.

Joe Wilcox


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