Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Broken Limbs

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The first morning was a surprise.
I had planned to rise and shower,
and then fill the old clawfoot tub
with water.

But fourteen inches had already stacked
upon itself and the deck railing,

and the evergreens were bent by the
weight of sagging boughs.

“They’ll snap!” seemed a far more
important thought than,

“Dang it! The power is already out.”

So, I rushed into my lined boots
and coat
and gloves
and woolen hat –
the one that covers the ears
and has long tassels
that hang like a young girl's braids,

And shushed through the
heavy, wet snow,
first for the young cypress.

It had been a gift from
a departing neighbor;

I was explicitly its steward.

“Oh no!”

Not soon enough. Limbs
had torn from the thin trunk,
but not many.

I brushed and shook until the
body and what arms could,

And then, swiftly, to the boxwoods.
These elders.
These outskirts of the homestead
that would have reflected upon
every winter day by candlelight.

They must be freed.

Taller than I, I had to learn how
to shake off their snow
without having it hit me in the
face like the reminiscent snow balls
I had failed to dodge in my youth.

And then the small cedar.

Oh, it could have broken in two!

I think they appreciated the effort,

Those burdened trees.

But I’m not sure that it really matters

if they did. Or, did not.

Sometimes the most important thing
you can say to the world
at the beginning of the day
is that you are willing
to show up,

and to serve.

© 2013-2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight"
Published by Hiraeth Press;

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