Winter Forest

Winter Forest
Forests stripped of leaves reveal their
hidden hills and valleys, stripping
not just leaves, but mysteries, where
boys in summer, blithely skipping

through the woods, imagined wonder
just beyond each bend –  in winding
paths, where one, perhaps, could blunder
through the thick and green and blinding

undergrowth and burst upon some
unexpected secret treasure –
baby bears, a snake, a handsome
stag with spreading rack to measure

larger than their broomstick horses;
knights in makeshift armor questing,
grandly besting evil forces, 
heroes’ deeds performed, then resting.

In winter, camouflage is gone,
its secrets shown like x-rayed bones –
a war-torn landscape grimly drawn
in drab and grayish monotones.

The trunks march off in endless ranks
like crosses on a battlefield
where earth was scarred by rumbling tanks,
the earth now smoothed but not yet healed.

No cemetery order here –
haphazard, random, jumbled, wild.
No bright green grass, but drab and sere
dead leaves in tangled masses piled.

These skeletons of trees, the limbs  
and branches stripped of summer’s leaves
without a requiem of hymns,
now speak of death, and no one grieves.


Written April 2000 by David L Brungart - © Copyright