I dance with the dead,
revel in the fallen splashes
of color as they haunt the wind.
Oak leaves that summer stained blue sky
with paint brush leaves of green now
fall in cascades of orange and red.
Limbs stripped to their wooded bones
speak of winter coming to frost night
with sparkled shivers of dreams roaming indigo.
Caught in swirls of leaf flames I feel
my childhood open its door of wonder
to memories of the oak cradling my secrets.
Standing on sturdy roots I let them feed my spirit
the power of resiliency to grow even in a world
that seeks to mold me into something other than myself.
Dear Oak, you mothered me when I had no voice.
Taught me how to bend without breaking, find the song
in my tears and find grace when smothered in drought.
©Susie Clevenger 2023