by Lois Parker Edstrom
Winter slices everything down to bare basics.
Clouds darken and sunlight, weak and pale
as the face of fear, slips out between shifting shadows.
Sodden leaves clump along roadsides
and bunch in porch corners. But oh, the sculptural
beauty of bare willow, and alder, and birch.
How thin branches touch and overlap
forming intricate triangles of light.
What is it that you find beautiful? a friend asks
as I raise my face to the of tops of the denuded,
exposed trees that flare against the sky.
I consider how something made vulnerable
exposes its beauty, and the empty spaces—
a latticework of branches; how one must look through
and beyond the obvious to find what is true.