Thick-set sentinels


A thousand winters
come and gone
thick-set sentinels no longer pay
each more than casual attention;
snowmelt slides downslope,
each rivulet latches to newly-found
their meandering journey to
water’s grand community
has begun

Drinking deep, the soil
run through with the needle gifts
of geriatric conifers
each new sprout could,
if lucky,
grow as old and numb
as the sentinel trees
their roots ground into
the forest floor.

A blooming unlike any other

Frost dances its samba,

a three-way with the sky and earth

to fall upon surly trees, devoid of

their vibrant leaves

and lend them a new splendor.

The days grow ever-shorter

so ropes of light

unfold, a grand show of force against the

murky dark.

Lying on the ground, before winter forms its

city of crystal

there is only quiet

awaiting a blooming

unlike any other.

Rust-hued hair

Cold does not see class.

Nor race, religion –

Where you come from,

where you are now

and where you plan to go in the future.

Cold is egalitarian.

Cold is just.

When the trees wake up in a panic

wondering where their rust-hued hair

has gone –

they stand

side by side

with the children, waddling penguins in their parkas

as the school bus is late again.