for Holly Friesen
Peak season, and the morning mountain smoke rises,
breaths 'round council fires lifting from turning yellow
birch, pin cherry, russet-skirted belles of oak. Maples'
scarlet lobes, radiating like fingers, let go, blush as ash
maroons, and shagbark hickories bear hard-toned arms
like summer life guards golden-bronzed. Off beaten
paths flowering dogwood silently mimic plums' purple
and reddish hues—like you, daring that one last fling.
Black tupelo wear crimson cloaks, while elms' own
burial wraps fall for too much brown. Pines and cedars,
spruces and firs — evergreens all — resist the urge
to change their colors. Constant they are, tough
enough to take the rap of another long winter's tale.
© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas
See images of Holly's beautiful paintings at The Roaring Inside.