Turning in

How much of nature sleeps in the nude.
Some trees have already stripped naked.
Most have changed their clothes by now
out of their playful duds into something more formal,
with darker, more sonorous tones,
evening gowns, and suits of grey and brown,
the turning down of leaves and grass.
Now the hues don’t flash and jump,
they gesture, bow and embrace,
they are priests, not cheerleaders, strings, not brass.
The trees are turning beyond all this with grace,
toward something, letting go, but not resigning,
not just getting old, but turning,
turning toward quieter, darker work,
and it is work, the dreaming of this sleep,
a vow of poverty, obedience to the sweeping wind,
a pledge of presence in the cold, the dark,
the stillness— turning in.

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