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A downed oak, toppled by time, pithless log
leveled, imploding, rotting edifice
under blown snow; above, warped-and-woven
scene of leafless torsos, sky’s grays threaded
through like tattered banners attesting cold.
The outlook looks inexorably glum,
a festival of numbing, fierce fatigue.
But sketched across like skewgee code, scrawny
branches portend their lush replenishment,
pivot pointless angst toward plush Spring’s caprice.

            —first published in Green Ink Poetry

D.R. James

D. R. James lives in the woods outside Saugatuck, Michigan, and has recently retired from Hope College after 37 years of teaching writing, literature, and peace studies. His most recent of ten collections is Mobius Trip (Dos Madres Press, 2021).