Resolute Bones

Anneke Zegers

Almost all things turn out fine, 
You’ll see.  

Trees’ leaves fall to the ground 
Like maidens stripping off their silken robes 
To step into the baths 
And dip their roots 
To test the soapy water. 
Trees shed their foliage 
And shiver in the winter wind 
Skeletons standing tall 
Fingers reaching motionless toward the sky.  
Birds’ nests wither and die 
Floating away in storms 
Or idle breezes 
And chipping away 
At the twigs.  
The bite of cold cracks 
And bark splits open 
Spilling frozen innards 
Of a dying plant. 
Unfeeling, unflinching 
It stands the snow piling down 
Dusting its arms 
Balding its scalp 
Breaking its resolute spine 
Which still does not give. 
The bone is hard and wet 
But not yet brittle enough  
To topple. 

And Decembers roll into Januaries 
And Februaries come after 
And a long winter it endures. 
Months of pressure and snow 
Of such a degree 
Would kill a man 
And turn us all 
To bone.  
And March ushers in the sun once more.  
The cold chill abates 
As the snow washes into rivers of tears. 
Such sympathy from its oppressor 
Breathes life back into its weary sinews. 
The great burdened being sighs 
And sprigs of green hair 
Bloom on every edifice.  
Tentatively, it reaches out its roots once more 
And finding the boundaries of weary winter months 
At last broken 
Leaps into new growth 
With a heart of  
Unabashed hope.  

And such a tree as this 
Always survives the starving season 
And keeps standing 
Under aches and pains 
And hard rains.  
Almost all things turn out fine 
You see.