Unwanted Hickory Nut

Ripe hickory nuts ready to fall, Andrews, SC

Ripe hickory nuts ready to fall, Andrews, SC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A hickory nut
damp in February snow
hugged the ground
that shielded roots
of its mother tree.

No squirrel
to crack the nut. No one to
choose it for toppings on pies.
Alone, it embraced
the cold earth.

Snow melted. Sun dried
the hickory nut. March wind–
cutting like a lion’s tooth–whistled
and puffed until topsoil
buried the little nut.

April sun,
warm as an iron, heated
on a wood-burning stove,
pointed to earth
with white-hot rays.

Delicate and pea green,
sheltered by arms of the
mighty mother tree, a tiny
hickory shoot peeked shyly
from its shell.

c Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols