Beneath the Branches

In the waning hours of Monday’s passing,
the fog seeped in, wrapping itself
around the dark forms of trees.

Small branches disappeared in the deepening gray,
leaving only the black shapes of trunks to show through
as day faded into darkness.

We woke to a heartless cover of frozen fog and rain,
a bit of sleet curdled in the slick sheath
that covered both vehicles and welded the doors shut.

Walking cautiously to the car to see if feel would confirm
what my eyes seemed to be telling me,
I brushed against the dense brush of the wintercreeper bush.

I heard a faint rustling and then the whir of wings,
saw the blur of a tiny bird swoosh between me and the car
and regretted that I had disturbed its resting cover.

Though absent malice or intent, I felt a twinge of guilt
for having sent such a small one
scurrying into such a day as this.

Perhaps that sudden flight will lead it by some recent seed
scattered on a lawn or still held to some sheltered stalk
that it had not noticed until now.

I comfort myself with such thoughts as that,
with knowing that the birds of the air
are fed each day even though they neither sow nor gather,

and I resolve to walk more carefully
and allow a bit more space
now that I know some of what may be hidden

beneath the branches.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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