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The tree wintered
well enough, holding
her leaves through
cold, spring,  and drought.

She stands alone,  leaves
a rosy brown, surrounded
by the green
and the thorns
of the living.

The wind blows one last
breath through.  She cries
once more, stronger
than wind provides.
Her cry calling
out the sun,
and the rain,
and the dark,
and the pain.

Her form remains
reminding those
in the wood,
of life’s branches
the fraying and knitting
of friends and strangers.