Naked and Empty Elms
They're naked and empty against the sky
widespread and waiting. It's two
in the morning, months after the loss
and still, they wait.
There's a guaranteed prize for patience
and for tolerance and for voices kept
inside sap-filled heads where vision
is blurred and sound is distorted.
And I stare through nicotine windows and wonder -
when wind bites their tenderest parts and
ice builds them warbled-glass jackets,
is Spring enough to repay them?
Meanwhile, smiling pines, full-boughed and full-bodied,
glow like painted ladies against December nights,
with arms bedecked in gems, and knees brushed
by pageantry and plenty.