Bjorn Arneson

As our one-year anniversary approaches (August 28), I have found myself thinking about that late summer day outside Northfield. The memory of the ceremony and reception are still present in my mind. We were lucky to have so many loved ones surrounding us that day.

Before falling asleep last night, an image and a few words came into my mind. As is often not the case, I remembered them when I woke up this morning and wrote down a few more lines. It isn’t often that I write poems, but I like this one:

An Old Oak

An old oak tree shelters the dead,
Its wide arms stretched out in benediction.
We aren’t the first to cry on this windy hilltop.
Mothers and fathers and sons and daughters,
Having lived a hard-won, fleeting life,
Now feed the prairie earth beneath our feet.

In this present moment, before the bells ring
Calling witnesses to choral communion,
The tree bends low to shade a new pioneer pair.
Life-laden limbs defy the weight of a hundred years
To gather us in and send us away
Into a world made hazy with joyful tears.


In the graveyard at Valley Grove Church