young trees wrapped in burlap
stand sentry, bulky in the field,
cozy under their shaggy rag-tag
almond-brown sweaters

with each nip of cold air they grow
stronger, every moment older,
as is the way

if trees had noses
they’d run just like ours

but, oh! come earliest spring,
how beautiful pre-bloom
with nothing but the growing-time ahead

…and I will bear sweet fruit,
throughout the days turn years,
for I am the earth and you have cared for me,
you are a fine steward

thank you

near the cove, past the lighthouse,
where the gray stone sentries
rest toppled (always in fog there) buried
under inches of moss and run-off,
lies a painter’s canvas,
a world of vibrant colors,
ripped and mud-matted,
decomposed, becoming
the very earth
it depicts: a headstone for the artist

Chagall 2019