Hope in Winter
Naked limbs now thin and empty
vein December's gray,
skeletal branches reaching desperately
to the sky,
but one tree still thick with leaves
stands full against these ponderous clouds
as if defying Winter and calling
even death a cruel joke.
Then the blackbirds all flew off
and an empty bone-bare tree
to dark victorious clouds was traded
for a puff of feathered smoke.