inward, outward

When you become who you are,
the stories you’ve told are leaves
browning and shriveling in fall
when your reverence withdraws.
In winter you stand exposed,
vulnerable, undecorated, cold,
bereft of those justifications
and names that shaded you,
equipped only with the truth
of your bark, your heartwood,
your roots interweaving among
those of your copse, yielding
nourishment according to need.
When returns the sun and heat,
your truth emerges anew, fresh
with green expressions of self,
boldly thrusting into weather
to feed, flower, fruit, and seed,
and spread your knowingness
to where it might flourish new.
Until, again, these bolder truths
desiccate in obligation, stories
told too often, ready to be shed.
Returning to silence, heartwood,
the winter source of the self.

Photo by Adarsh Kummur courtesy of Unsplash