Obeying winter wind’s whip
frantic birch limbs claw naked at the low sky.
Clots break loose from frail fingertips
crashing to the frozen ground
in a crumble of nature and nurture
as homeless, skinny squirrels dash
down charcoal trunks, streak across mounds
of alabaster snow, disappear like blood stains
on bleached sheets in hospital laundries.
But there remain these scattered husks,
weightless now, whirling in buoyant blond skirts
of tissued tulle, easily blown about as ash
and bones carried from funerals to grave yards,
skeletal reminders of where we’re meant to return.