Proof of Life

It'd been a while since last I wandered deep
among the thistle wilds of Brightwood Park,
Sadly taking note of Winter's toll
(strewn trees lay heavy-felled upon the floor),
But knowing all was well, for snags are homes
to birds and beasts who nest and rest and roost;
survive and thrive within decaying trunks.

A  flutter-fest, as crows and crested fowl, 
fled fast the tremor of my brash footfall.
While o’er the bramble carpet, doe and stag 
romp free (for now),  unwarned of culling arrows 
aimed their way…until it’s much too late.
I warily proceed but grieve for fallen fawns,
Nature’s balance nudged by arching bows.

Sprinkled ‘cross the vast woodland expanse, 
Baby-blue sky patches, glimpsed between 
The elder trees, that yet unbloomed, stand tall.
Spring will soon return to Brightwood Park,
When red buds sheet across the wood’s preserve, 
Preceding wispy pods of lemon-green,
Emerging shoots and leaves, new growth from old.

Inhaling deep the forest’s wafting scents, 
       I spy the proof, a hint of coming spring- 
the wild-sown crocus, jutting through the depths 
       of fallen, crackled leaves and layered stalks.  
A shock of vibrant blooms amidst the gray,
       As if to say, “Though oft presumed a loss, 
I’m breaking through (despite the heavy thatch),
Strong, exquisite, hopeful, bright and free.” 

Written for The Sunday Whirl

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