The tree in my garden is ugly
And ice of the past winter has tarnished the wood
With rotted patches, rough to the touch
And the eye.
If each twig-thin branch were a world,
They would be barren lands
Credited only with one half-eaten,
Snow-scathed, yellow leaf.
Its trunk is sleekly bumpy,
Knotted for show even though, underneath
The leathery skin the sap treacles through its body
In an unending cycle.

I watch the passers-by as they duck
To avoid it's searching branches,
Wary of the spindly, sharp ends
Reaching for the kindness of the spring.

But come that day, my tree will blossom,
And the patches of doubt will be covered
With a blistering beauty,
A velvet-soft macabre of white and pink petals.
Even now, I can feel the happiness it radiates,
Waiting, smiling inwardly, for the early summer months,
Knowing that the sun will warm its withered branches
And take away the cold.

Now the passers by change their attitude.
No longer do they swing away from it,
Huddled in their collars,
Wrapped in their coats.
A little girl stops under the pink-laden arms of my tree
And giggles, looking to her mother.
"You said it didn't snow in summer."
Her mother smiles and catches a circle of silk in the air,
Gives it to her daughter and they move from my window
Away from my spying eyes.
My tree likes children.

Sat at the dining table, pushing gently at my food,
I look at me tree again and wonder
If ever it wanted to move,
If ever it wanted to be anything else,
If ever it wished that we lived in a never ending
Spring-summer cycle,
So maybe, just, maybe, it wouldn't be so knotted.

"No." I hear it say.
"No winter is too cold.
No summer is too hot.
I have lived many years, weathered many seasons,
And still I stand.
Each knot has a story, a tale
And each blossom has worked hard for its beauty."
It sighs with the wind again and finishes my lesson.

"Eat up. You need the vitamins."