Promises Promises

The flown, the fallen,
the golden ones,
the deciduous dead, all gone
to ground, to dust, to sand,
borne on the shoulders of the wind.

Listen! They are whispering…

Look at the trees!

Every leaf-scar is a bud
expecting a future.
The earth speaks in parables.
The burning bush. The rainbow.
Promises. Promises.
~Gillian Clarke from “The Year’s Midnight” From Selected Poems

Having turned the ragged corner into a new year,
I search for any signs of recovery from
what was fallen and flown from last year.
Instead there is rain upon rain and water levels rise.

I step cautiously upon the sponge of soaked leaves underfoot,
recalling their crisp vibrancy when still attached
to branches that are now picked clean
to bare bones, all flesh devoured.

Yet, as I examine those skeletal remains,
I see their scars swelling with potential,
even now, even in early winter there is expectancy.

These bushes will not burn to ashes;
this rain will cease to flood.
This sky, these trees will light up once again
with promises made
and promises kept.

4 thoughts on “Promises Promises

  1. Your essay reminds me of my favorite quote by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:

    “All else is bare, but prophetic: buds everywhere, the whole splendor of the coming summer concentrated in those hard little knobs on every bough… ,” ‘April Days,’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this — very much! A ‘feel good” reassuring start to the new year.
    Agree: it IS prophetic!. And a unique metaphor that speaks to me
    of His sacred promises as they relate to the nightmare that we have been living for the past four years….
    (including, but not limited to, COVID-19).
    (This may be reaching a little, but it also recalls the meaning of the term ‘tabula rasa.’ )

    Liked by 1 person

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