in the leaf bare woods
the only Christmas color --
green moss with red spores
No white Christmas this year. The day dawns clear and warmer than usual for late December. After a big Christmas dinner with family, I go for a walk in the woods. The only spots of color among the duff and gray trees are clusters of dark red rose hips in a big brier patch and plush clumps of fluorescent green moss sprouting red spore capsules on hair-thin stalks.
Pilgrim Creek is half full and the trails are wet. I stop to look at a tree on the edge of the cliff, its roots sticking out in the air. It will be the next to fall, taking with it the moss pillow at its base. This is the way of the wandering creek, to cut into a bank on one side and deposit mud on the opposite side as the water makes its serpentine way toward its faraway home in the ocean.
There on the far bank, I appear as a shadow cast by sunlight, more ephemeral than the old tree or the regenerating moss.