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Leaves arc, like paintings of blown leaves;
like cut paper, like sunset strewn
across red-gold sky, like smoldering fires;
serrate-edged, notched, like some knives.
But they cut only the hard wind,
the wind that tries to bridge them.
Wind can’t; these trees are too feisty;
they do not hide in niches or ditches;
they flaunt, they claim rough edges.
Farmers name beeches weeds; they push
through field soil. Their roots patiently wait,
shove worker-laid stones, open faces.
December disrupts, beats black branches,
feathered, fingered twigs; they’re like pens
writing winter’s aggregate history;
black barriers; hinged nodes above snow,
hanging on against blizzard breath;
hanging on all the scarred, bleak season.
Copyright 2018 Bertha Rogers. First published in From the Finger Lakes Poetry Anthology. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Beech Tree, Snow, The Downs, Bristol, England