Wan December sunlight, snow-covered hills,
pond semi-frozen, hollows mucky with mud,
stream reduced to etiolated rills.
Hauling in split wood amid squelching sludge
up to my wobbly ankles. Birch burns quick
like conversation igniting with wit.
Some maple and cherry for dim twilight,
oak and elm for the dreary, frozen night.
Each tree has its own personality
that “speaks” in distinctive, warm vibration
tinkling spine, giving scent, breathing on ear.
Symbol of life-and-death, the spreading tree
makes heart leap in flaming extroversion—
especially at turn of the New Year!