White Coats For Pines

The night is rimy and raw and

no one is

thinking of the trees.

Not of the branches or the boughs or

the roots, or the delicate


And as a boreal wind tears through the hills

they stand together

saving strength under

blue-black skies.

The stars reach out

with their white heat

to warm them

but as with hope and dreams and God

and other things we

sometimes believe in

the stars were

too far away to matter much.

And now, when Night grows coldest,

when clouds push up

over the great tips of rock

dawn comes slowly, thief-like,


after a hard season,

to cry in empathy and to console

with prayers and tender embraces.

At first light the sky sifts out its finest snow,

like sugar.

And by early morning

there are white coats for every last

shuddering tree,

to warm them yes,

but also to show the both of us

how near

our own blessings

truly are.

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