The Winter Birch

Pillars, grown from patience.
Each new ring to wear.
Each reaching for the sky.
But there, one droops.

It stands out by not standing tall.
Perhaps it is to fall,
It's leaves.
Standing so naked, bare.

Of which named the same has left it's mark.
Slashes from it's claws.
Scratches of its back to bare it's weight.

And the hives and nests that came before,
Will not hang safe anymore.
For the tree it would seem,
Feels like dying.

It's white birched bark,
Camouflaged by the snow.
As it's taproot, lets go.

It's loosened grip,
Will meet the wind.
With an unblockable blow.

The little stream below.
So long a friend.
So long dear friend.
Has turned cold and frozen within.

Open armed to catch its teetering friend.
Its surface cracks,
The salmon gasp for breath.

Their chests puff pink,
Before the only color of the land scatter.
No footprints to leave behind.

So much movement in slience.
Then again, quiet.
As if it never happened.

A block of ice for pillows rest.
A frozen grave to willow in death.
No oxygen for breath.

Life no more,
This season.
All the warmth and comfort gone.
The protector could not be protected.

Tree knots in the stomachs,
Of the crowded tundra,
Witnesses of their later fate.

Laying in the cold,
With nowhere else to go.
Blanketed by the snow.
Desperate for warmth.

As if right on queue,
As if it knew,
Diamond flakes hint of light.

Before too long,
The crow will caw,
With rising rays and eyes of night.

Deafened songbirds dare not sing.
Free with tattered wings.
Have not returned this Spring.

It lays there as if for nothing.
With a metaphorical sigh.
For all it's desperate wanting.
Could not survive.

Collapsed and fallen.
Meadow to withdrawal.
A tree that cannot such be called.

Fallen birch.
Witnessed by no one.
Tries it's best to stand tall.

The snow will layer the forgotten.
Water logged and downtrodden.
Like tears, the stream will flood,
Awaiting thaw.
Written by DCLXVI_1989 (Garrett Asa Hughes)
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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