The Winter’s woods are barren now
with gaudy slippers on their feet
yet beauty lies on branch and bough.
It seems they’re trying to compete
with lichen coat and mossy beard.
Each tree awaits the chilling wind
or ice and snow if it appeared
to add an ermine shroud. They’ll bend
but seldom break; their supple strength
has grown, increasing through each year.
As solstice’s days now wane in length,
so soon green buds will reappear
to grace their heads. Once dun and brown,
they’re blessed with jade or emerald crown.