Winter is the season when hidden beauty
is revealed: green clumps of mistletoe
suspended in the highest branches
or squirrel nests, the palest ghost
of green lichen on fallen twigs, spikey
sweet gum balls that litter the path,
and the pearl white berries of a lone
dogwood. Soon spring flowers
will distract our eye, and in summer
a dark green mantle of leaves will cloak
trees and bushes. In fall, bright reds
and yellows in golden sunlight
vie for our attention. But on a gray
morning in January, these seed pods
and parasites sustain us. Green moss
and orange fungus on trunks bring
some warmth and color to the sharp
contrasts of bare black branches
impaled on the cold slate sky.