Bare tree

Leaves lost, cloak sundered,
summer’s green muffler gone.
Open to November winds
picking through your belongings,
your scarf unwrapped
from your neck, so exposed.
The last mitten taken from the hand
of the high twig flutters down.
So this is you,
without all the leafy romance,
the generous bosom,
the welcome shade,
just arms of wood,
wooden sinews, rising, twisting,
thinning toward the top,
your ten thousand fingers,
and all this empty air, the blank
between branch and branch,
the wind you can’t hold,
this is you, this
strenuous absence,
this brave emptiness
with no visible heart.
Where are you now,
in the root,
In the wind?
Or here, invisible,
in the presence,
the persistence,
the openness
to what winter will
through you?
O, beautiful bareness,
you will prevail,
and if I attend,
bring me with you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

November 12, 2020

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