Skeletons and broken limbs, old friends
of two or three centuries passing seasons
in one another’s shade, listening
to fathers telling sons how to survive.
Clumps of brown and yellow mistletoe
hang from arms like grapes becoming raisins,
all giving-in and giving-up their ghosts,
their loosening bark in lieu of acorns
to this bear invasion as the canyons
and draws crawl with shaggy scavengers
after the war is over—as the slowly fading
wounded watch, brittle roots without water.
This old girl will never be the same,
not reclaim her lush good looks
for generations that will never know
the difference nor her endless bounty.
Nothing stays the same beyond the void
of emptiness—everlasting, ever changing.