“Willow Tree Night and Snowy Visitors” by Michael Lee Johnson


Willow Tree Night and Snowy Visitors
(photo to go with this poem on request)

By Michael Lee Johnson

Winter is tapping
on the hollow willow tree's trunk--
a four month visitor is about to move in
and unload his messy clothing
and be windy about it--
bark is grayish white as coming night with snow
fragments the seasons.
The chill of frost lies a deceitful blanket
over the courtyard greens and coats a
ghostly white mist over yellowed willow
leave's widely spaced teeth-
you can hear them clicking
like false teeth
or chattering like chipmunks
threatened in a distant burrow.
The willow tree knows the old man
approaching has showed up again,
in early November with
ice packed cheeks and brutal
puffy wind whistling with a sting.