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Into the sky I look
through the tangled branches of a whistling oak,
its leaves are gone
hugging the earth about its roots,
a soft December blanket turning brown and grey
they smell of old books and attic chests.

The sky surges through the open spaces
wrapping the thin branches in sunset red,
glowing warmly in a cold evening air
and lifting my thoughts
from where I step
and welcome me to the distant chimes of nightfall.

Beckoning my heart,
the trees gently list with the passing clouds,
their skin crossed with the signs of age
wrinkled and parched
chipped, rough, dark.
I can not help but touch,

These are true friends.

© hok, January 26, 1992