Flakes of grace

 Why did the grove undress itself only to wait for the snow?" ~ Pablo Neruda

Trees do not come naked into this world
at the splitting of the germ, with one emanation
two forces flee from each other, filigree of root
feeling out darkness; a stem posits sunlight
pointedly, draped in the first bold blade

In seasonal procession, covert fibres encroach with worm
and mould into the chthonic continent of Dīs
and under the heavens, twig and branch prostrate
as sun worshippers, decked with flower and wreaths
of victory, as vanity gallops green and quick-silvered
through the many venial veins

The fated fall follows, as it must always do
after the puff of pride, after gullible bait taken in the garden
at the end of the Dionysian play, Autumn arrives
an avenging angel, unmasking to the last fermented fig
the fabulous firmament of reds and golden amber
brought down to humble brown

Sober in the frigid light of winter
the undressed grove stands silent, awaiting
the first white flakes of grace

Selecting one of Neruda’s posers for my poetics prompt: The question as Poetry