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Arboreal Sovereign

White pine, your craggy majesty,
dominion holds when deciduous branches bare,
surrender their changed-in-color greenery,
and your jagged boldness claims the air.

When brisk October winds expose the fruit,
of grape and hawthorn on their dry, gray twigs,
brilliant red among the thorny shoot,
and darkened now, the lively earlier sprigs.

October's fickle way seems to devour,
brilliant maple, intense mahogany of oak,
and hop-like, the subtle hornbeam's flower,
wilt while light golden pale, white birch uncloak.

Among the branches, shedding now of leaves,
the many conifers bear verdant boughs,
cedar and junipers supplant the willow that grieves,
and spruce's upright stance states, "Now."

Craggy white pine, your stately majesty,
long-lived, stand prominent here and there.
Through long, cold, challenging winter, we shall see,
you stand aloft and boldly brush the air.

@10/11/2019 Carol Welch
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