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PAINFUL BEAUTY

See how the ice
worries the trees--
the trees never
asked for the ice
to be added
to all
their other duties--

see the prisms that
run up and down
the ice as we walk,
see the prism
squeezed
into each drop that falls--

the drops we try
to avoid--sunlit but bitter
but enlivening.

I can feel the wind
tugging and
the trees straining
to maintain
their taut limbs.

I can feel the terrific
crucifixion
occurring within this tree--

until the last icicle falls--
sticks in the saturated ground--
then the tree can breathe
a sigh of relief.

Even so, the tree knows
that the wind
can rise in a moment, can bring
clouds, then ice again.

The tree is beautiful.  But even more beautiful
with ice.  All over the mountainside--

I see beauty in painful abundance.

© 2007 Michael R. Patton      go back

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