I wondered what had toppled

that torso of sturdy oak,

crippled, hollow, beneath

a frosted cape of white,

recalled how high those

branches stretched, to sky,

to cloud, far from from

the humble earth beneath;

I was younger than the settling snow,

and thought things went forever.

Traipsing on, I conjured scenes

that showed it, mighty, felled

by a tempest’s wailing screams

of lightning, spark and smoke,

yet I knew the death was

thick and slow, a fog

that robs the night;

I wallowed in my memories,

the crooked bough that

snaked and weaved,

it seemed impossible to fold.

I thought of it rotting, steady,

pulling roots failing to hold,

in the saddest of my visions

as my skin crawled with the cold.


Fred Ostrovskis