When I walked the trail in winter I noticed the tree
tall, dark, and skeletal against the sky
with a strange twisted trunk.
An old one this, I thought
so easy to tell apart from the other trees
it quickly became my favorite.
I watched it all winter into the spring
when delicate airy green began to paint the forest
the twisted old tree remained barren
its branches still dark against the sky.
Someone said it is a walnut they leaf out last.
Finally a touch of green at the very top
a few weeks later so adorned in leaves of springtime
you can hardly see its twisted trunk anymore.
Now it seems a grand and vibrantly alive father tree
or maybe a mother
leaves ruffling in the breeze
bright against the sky.