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Tree in November

I see your skeleton again.

It’s that time of year

when you have cast aside your leaves,

unflinching, unapologetically

departing thousands of tiny foolish notions

that it was ever better to hide behind

some contrived beauty

that is now wasted away,

quietly fluttering to the ground,

softly shattering beneath my footsteps

and returning to formless earth.

I see your skeleton again.

Not just your finest, greenest moment on boastful display,

but every single mundane one.

Every inch of limb and root telling a story of an instant

when you grew,

when you were,

a notation of times even when the sun was not shining

and the earth was frozen,

each moment equal and part of something larger than itself,

a timeline of winding curving branches

like the lifeline across my palm,

a map of a life spent

sometimes bending yet remaining

unmoved.

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