The oak is old, gray, and gaunt
No leaves grace his spreading limbs
The sky glows through his framed spaces
      but its light lacks force enough to regenerate him
Anchored in age alone, the patriarch presides

At his side, a maple garbs herself in dress of gold
She is younger, but not young
The dull splendor of her leaves inspires courtesy
      but their beauty presages her withering
Poised on the cusp of decline, the matriarch glances back

Nature goes down to death for rebirth
The cold, dark entombs her in frozen earth for only a season
Spring’s strengthening sun will raise her from the deeps
      but change the maple and the oak for a human daughter and her father
Facing only loss, they grieve

In latening autumn, they stand, they two
      lost to hope
      lost to warmth

In memory of my mother:
No Beauty
Cold Rage
Bright Radiance
Beauty in the Close
Grievous Loss