Many-trunked fortress of spring


Photo taken on Kellogg Blvd. in St. Paul, MN

branches fret
Annette Marie Hyder

twine their legion fingers
and wring their bark-skinned hands
with a cold like this
even the twigs tremble
sap freezes
in the vein-stemmed interior
and the heart of spring
heretofore impregnable and unassailable
falters momentarily
in its many-trunked fortress.

I think of trees, with their sap filled trunks as strongholds against the cold of winter preserving the heartbeat of spring — no matter how faint. The trees, evergreen and deciduous alike, are a many-trunked fortress and to wander through a forest in winter is to twine through time suspended. It’s warming to know that the sap will rise, springtime will break free from well-meaning restraints of dark bark and warding wood, will come forth like a butterfly from the hard protective covering of its chrysalis and kiss those stalwart towers with pennant leaves and flowers.

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