In the strong stir of southern wind,
the long, slender limbs of locust
bend to the north in sweeping crescents
of graceful submission,
spreading the hard push along the whole length
rather than against a single point.
The birches flinch and turn,
each surge sending some fresh shudder
through the tree,
un-joining the brittle branches,
leafless sticks caught in the chance
of force and direction.
It will take more than this
to make the harsh breaks
that send thick sections of cottonwood
crashing into the fence below,
something pushing the Beaufort scale
from “breeze” into “gale.”
I think it is good in life
to keep the mark of our passing
not measured by the force of our push
nor in the damage we do,
but in the caressing softness
of gentle touch and deep refreshing.