This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise
of salvation buried beneath bark
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed
by the world’s pledge of protection
softly cooing on the wind.
The breeze dissolves as all things must
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse
where changing winds turn away
against the backdrop of cows laying still
under the too-slow warming sun.
And still this tree shivers looking ahead,
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense, stronger in the effort while grasping
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.
History shines here, filtered
through the trees and mixing
with the sunlight that warms our
necks just as it did
years ago creating a dense fog
we’ve almost stopped
noticing. We live in its shadow
just as surely as they did,
though the shadows play longer,
and while we may chose to turn our
heads and ignore the brown leaves
come winter, we will depend
on its cover
or worse, hide in the mists,
a refuse from cold breezes
stirring up again.