Bare Against the Budding Sky
By a stem I fuse to the branch
And fight for every breath
But as winter breathes upon me
Its life brings only death.
The numbing oak beneath me,
The wood that brought my birth,
Will shed me like a garment,
And cast me to the earth;
Will drain the strength within me,
Till I can grasp no more;
Will watch my colors alter,
Then drop me to the floor.
Soon all the growth surrounding
Will slowly lose its form
And bare against the budding sky
Will brace to fight the storm.
With bitter breezes mounting
The sun will soon retreat
Leaving shorter days to follow,
Where death and darkness meet.
Yet though my life is nearly spent
And my future seems so bleak
I will not cease to grasp this tree
Nor let this strength grow weak,
And though I soon will shift and change,
In color and in hue,
I will face this nightmare;
I will see the winter through.
When all around have fallen,
Without hope, to meet the ground
I will rustle in the treetops
That the world might hear my sound.
I will shout for hope and beauty;
Of the buds that bloom in spring;
Of the rushing rivers running;
Of the life the year will bring.
From within the darkest blizzard
Out will burst my song:
Of the beauty of the breath one
Breathes before all breath is gone.
© Jeremiah Dowling 2009