Jess D. Wilson 

This poem was read as a blessing before a meal at the 2014 Appalachian Writers Workshop. We asked Jess Wilson’s daughters, E. Gail Chandler and T. Sammie Wakefield, if we could publish it. Jess Wilson, an eastern Kentucky native, born on August 8, 1918, passed away peacefully on November 1, 2014. We’re honored to share his poem with you.


A Forest Benediction

May we grow in spirit
as tall as a pine tree,
and be in character
as sturdy as an oak.

May our fortitude be
to the storms of adversity
as a willow in the wind.

May our generosity be as free
as the shade of a maple
on a hot summer’s day,

And our reverence be
as prayerful as a spruce
in winter’s snow.


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