Once in a Winter of discontent
I walked in furrows of deep crusted snow
through a forest of spindly pines and birch
and came upon the ancient oak.
Ten times as thick and twice as tall as they
twice the girth; a man could ne’er embrace
scarred bark where once strong branches thrived
ungainly limbs, gnarled hands and fingers splay
Standing aged, stern and scornful
of the sickly birch and pine;
refusing to believe Spring sun would ever shine
nor would it yield to it’s charm.
“There is no Spring! No charm! No happiness!”
Look at my broken, barked fingers sticking out
where they have grown, from back and side
As they have grown, so I stand
so I am! and I do not believe
in your hopes
in your lies.
Wild flowers grew beneath it’s limbs
yet it stood among them scowling
grim as ever.
“Yes” I thought
the oak is right
let others, the young yield to hopes and dreams
We two know our life is naught.
Some years later in the Spring
I walked again the forest trod in Winter
and looked upon the same old oak
now quite transfigured
spreading out a canopy of sappy green
it stood, leaves trembling in the breeze
gnarled fingers, doubts nor scars
were no where to be seen.
Through centuries old bark
leaves had sprouted
even where there were no twigs
“Yes” I thought; it is the same oak.
“Life is not over!”
The procession of living goes on!
And I was seized by the unreasoning joy
of Spring; of time and of renewal.