Sunday, April 10, 2011

Courage (National Poetry Month: Day 10)

Spring gives me hope, for spring is courage.

Spring is not joy and warmth.
Spring is not beauty and color.
Spring is not tenderness and singing birds.
Spring is not weekend picnics and falling in love.
Spring is not blossoming flowers and lengthening sunlight.

What is spring?
Spring is new leaves.
Not a few leaves, or even hundreds,
but thousands upon thousands.
Leaves adorning every tip
of every twig of every stem of every branch.
Leaves growing beside twisted knots,
beside scarred wood, beside wrinkled bark, beside broken limbs.

These are wrinkled trees, older than memory,
than generations, than buildings, than nations.
Knotted trees that have seen enough years to know
that summer is short, that autumn will come,
that their leaves will always fall
dry and lifeless and brown.
Broken trees that know winter is cold,
is dark, is long, is inevitable.
Scarred trees that know their branches will be left bare,
left empty, left bereaved, left once again alone.
And yet in spring these trees sprout leaves,
sprout leaves, sprout leaves, sprout leaves.
And yet these trees sprout leaves!

Spring gives me hope, for spring is courage.

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