Late November

as the year decays around
and the rotting leaves and faded moss
are hammered by gusts of wind
nailed shut by the iron trees
sealed with frost

the worried squirrels are lost
and leap from the mourners
trying not to freeze.

But the dawn that breaks
over high mountains knows
where to go:
inwards; past the rocks, deep below
where the decay turns to earth
and in the earth seeds will grow
and the fragile beauty of the spring
takes its time, but all winter long
there it is, deep below, sweet-smelling, small,
an acorn, a baby worm, the mysterious seed
that promises a full-blown rose.

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