In the early morning haze

at the edge of a snowy field

bright white blossoms glow upon a single branch

a startling sight in early March–

(too soon for shadbush,

perhaps confused by global warming?)

As light filters through birch saplings

I see now the branch hangs broken like an elbow

Still the blossoms

hold the hope of renewal

set in even intervals along the branch:

a curious arrangement

               Good will come where good has been sown

               life from life well-tended

               even the broken shall bloom

As day fades into evening air

I see the truth of these promised blooms:

a bracket fungus piptoporous betulinus

bursts in whorls from cracking wood

In pale decay, death mimics life,

a required demise at cycle’s end:

the blossoms that do not fade

In these times when truth goes underground

to wait its turn

We bide our time

We mulch and chew and churn the soil

for life anew

We make ourselves the stewards of the wood


               We are

               the blossoms that refuse to fade


Adrian Dunn is a second-generation Californian, transplant- ed several decades ago to the Northeast. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology, with a Women’s Studies minor. Her short essays about preserving the wild have appeared in the Greylock Independent. In addition to memoir writing, Adrian wants to use her writing to high- light our common connection with the natural world.