Naked Elm on a Winter Day, by Jeff Billerbeck

Elms set down roots,
while reaching for light and sky,
thrive and survive summer’s buzz and winter’s stillness,
abide heat and cold, rain and draught,
seasons of bud and leaf, nesting birds and squirrels.

Now bark gathers round their base, branches and twigs
bud and leaf no more.
Still they stand in their naked beauty and strength,
firmly secured by their roots.

Jeff Billerbeck, Blue Mounds