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Winter Garden


Winter Garden

Centuries live and die

but the gnarled oak stands


Roots grip the soil

grotesquely reaching down,

its massiveness

as much beneath as its

imperious frame above.


Branches studded with

golden yellows, aging crimson,

pierced by spears of light,

leaves considering their moment

to release and grant

their rebirth once the oak

survives its nakedness and

winter months have passed.


Fierce night winds intensify.

Leaves, now dull and saturated,

fly skywards.

A deep groan, a crack,

a giant hush of sound

as the oak makes its gentle,

heaving, brutal way

to the ground.


Once a youth that watched

farm hands with pitchfork

and hoe lies still.

Roots, snapped like sticks,

have burst from the soil.

Branches have sheared and scattered,

like the village of squirrels,

their home for generations

now gone.

Michael R Chapman
~ master of none ~
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