Amid Winter


The trees, hoary and skeleton like

Sorrowful, reaching

Soulful and green less

Awaiting a glimpse of life


How do you breathe without

Your leaves? I can almost see

You gasp and spasm within

Your brittle, gray bark


Resembling the aged

An outline just able

To hold the veins, it’s own

Life force through the driving rain


Do you feel the biting wind,

The stinging sleet? You must know

That your life’s fluid is congealed

And thick, practically still


It’s so cold the moisture arises

From the streets and descends from the sky

Like shadowy figures

Rising and falling to greet the trees


Do you curse the water, that liquid

Of life, now solid and deadly?

I see it punishes and

Erodes, where once it flowed


The nearly dead branches

Still reach for the sky, and

Ask the question; is it my time to die?

Will I survive another frost?


Do you welcome this

cryogenic rest? I wonder

At what holds you upright

In mute defiance


With veins and hardly a frame

The sun peeks through

Melting the snow, giving life again

A green leaf has emerged


Tell me how you do it. How

Do I survive my own

Winter, greet the spring

with new growth? How?

Janet Caldwell & Alan Phillips

©2002 Caldwell Phillips


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