A Tangle of Bright Moments: Not Ready To Lie Down

“Perhaps the purpose
of leaves is to conceal
the verticality
of trees
which we notice
in December
as if for the first time:
row after row
of dark forms
yearning upwards.
And since we will be
horizontal ourselves
for so long,
let us now honor
the gods
of the vertical:
stalks of wheat
which to the ant
must seem as high
as these trees do to us,
silos and
telephone poles,
and skyscrapers.
but most of all
these winter oaks,
these soft-fleshed poplars,
this birch
whose bark is like
roughened skin
against which I lean
my chilled head,
not ready
to lie down.” — Linda Pastan, “Vertical”


Snowshoeing another New Hampshire trail, early in February, on a comparatively warmish day, with a low of 19F and a high of 33F. Birch bark is where it’s at in the winter.


And boulders covered in snow — someone had apparently slid down this one.


Peekaboo leaves under water.


This tree was ready, or not, to lie down.



Featured image: Firs or hemlock trees dressed in snow.
This is one in a series of posts revisiting field trips taken from January to June 2019, as described here.

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