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In winter, the trees stand stark and gray.
Unclothed, in a semblance of rest.
A time of secrets and whispers,
Renewal and restoration,
They wait for spring, knowing
Sooner or later, she comes along,
Forcing the stalwart branches to display
The yet unseen art that has been their
Winter occupation.

Now the lavish show of blossom and leaf
Climbs up the mountainside,
Heralding the promise of fruit
And shade to come. Summer arrives
To coax the arbor back to anonymity.
Disguised as each other, they hide behind
Shades of green, awaiting the time
When the air begins to cool.
When the equinox of autumn’s sun
Turns even the shyest of trees
Into publicity-seeking stars, boldly
Posing beneath the flash and glare of
The paparazzi sun.

The once bashful and unassuming trees –
The retiring shrubs of ordinary hues – now
Show themselves, hearts upon their sleeves,
One last chance to submit the work of their year.
Those who might otherwise pass by,
Stop in witness to unrestrained color,
A radical departure from summer’s hues.
They raise their flags and banners
For a brief and finite season.
The spangled hillsides will soon fade to brown,
The gray of winter comes quickly on the heels of a
Dying autumn.  Yet for a few brief days
These field and forest denizens
Drop their anonymity, and proclaim,
To us who watch, who they truly are.

Though ignited by autumn’s light
The burning bush is not consumed
A harbinger of the winter’s night
Before, by snow and ice, entombed.

Once content to cloak itself in ordinary green
In due time, the leafy Euonymus,
A bright soliloquy in autumn’s scene,
Blazes red, no longer anonymous.

May the harvest of the northern hemisphere, and the planting of the southern hemisphere, bless you all with enough. . .

(wc:  297)

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