Friday, October 26, 2018

Seasons: Limbs and Branches

September found our leaves light green,
like the early leaves of balmy spring,
but the nip in the air mixed the colours
into gold and rust, an autumnal dream
that shone three months on us

January came with blustery wind
and the letters flew between us, friend;
like flakes of snow on our branches bare
were those white word-pages we would send
for weeks and months on end

December blew you into my home,
like a leaf adrift, liked a half-read poem,
full of moods: mirth and sadness;
full of restless blood that made you roam,
flowing from your broken heart

May in two years more brought word,
a banishment of sorts had occurred
for us both, mine short, yours long—
Alas! You became a flightless bird
Giving your wings away to me

November dawned in glittering gold,
in a gift and a letter, for lo and behold!
I was to fly to our beloved England,
to drink it in, gain knowledge to hold
in my hand like a gift. . .from you

April saw my return from abroad,
changed, humbled, full, and awed
my leaves flourishing, blossoming,
but yours, I soon saw, were flawed,
as if frost or hail had visited

February two years down the road
had seen hard times for us both
again, while my roots were strong,
you seemed to be withering slow
and steady from within

July brought news of ill health
for your mind, once a wealth
of jolly poems, songs, and dreams,
now afraid. Your confused self
sought safe home-hermitage

January many a year I strove
to send word that you were loved,
but your blighted tree withdrew
into your world of books and stove,
while mine flourished and grew

September dawned on one black day,
your tree hewn, you went away
and left me all alone to grieve,
my flourishing seemed to decay
your once vibrant tree


Choice is the only thing we're given

For one to live, another dies
One road says hello, the other says goodbye. . .
Tonight, [friend], I'm gonna break your heart
Mine was broken from the start, broken from the start
— Jon Foreman, Broken from the Start

Photo: "Lonely Tree", taken at the Cliff Walk; Newport, Rhode Island (2018)

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