Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last year as I lay ill
And dying still,
My neighbour's trees
Kept watch

Their bony arms raised
To the skies
Defying winter's wrath,
Blackly outlining

Starkest cold felt deep
Within the marrow
Of my bones,
And without as well

Then the birches, with March,
Heralded false Spring briefly,
With a fuzzy show
Of slightest green
Worn off again in hours
By the ice-storm
I felt surround my heart,
My soul, my everything

Birch is hard-wood
And so am I, so together
We stood strong,
Weathered the non-season
Refusing to give up the ghost,
Die, as expected;
We toughed out the weeks
Until real Spring
Deigned to put in
Her appearance

And now the trees
Stand watch,
Their branches lovely,
Dancing full of leaves
And grace and hope,
And yet, like sentinels,
They guard my being,
Stalwarts still.

(originally published and archived on winningwriters.com September 2008)


  1. pretty cool parallel between you in that moment and the trees...and in the end as well the new life...cant think of many better to guard you than the trees...

  2. hey i added your link from the comments to the mr linky at dverse...

    1. thanks Brian - I must have neglected to do that...

  3. This reminded me so much of the poetry of Jane Kenyon who lived in the woods of Vermont (I think it was). She died rather young of leukemia and wrote poetry most often about her surroundings. If you haven't read her, you might enjoy. She was a prolific, published poet.

    1. Thanks so much Victoria - I am familiar with Kenyon's work and consider it a huge compliment to have anything I've written compared to hers ... it was tragic to lose her at such a young age ... thanks again for your kind words

  4. I love birch trees so this was especially beautiful to me...and felt. I love the dancing and guarding, hope and grace that you wrap it all up with as well.

    1. Thank you - I like that you referred to the poem as "dancing and guarding" - it's how I often think of trees myself.

  5. I love the line, Birch is hardwood and so am I...trees do have a presence of strength, combined strength too, it's good you tapped into that in your moment of need. Very good poem.

  6. Sharon, we are very much like the sturdy trees in nature when we need to be. Very nice poem.


  7. This is beautiful and haunting, but with hope in the end. Peace, Linda

  8. a misty swirl of words that haunt wonderful, Chris, http://velvetmedia.wordpress.com/

  9. The first verse of this poem grabbed me. I've had some mystical experiences with trees. I really like this poem.