Unconditional

The sun still shines;
Even at a slant it sustains.
It’s true, the buds have burst,
bloomed their best. Now
beauty has faded but underground
there is the promise of return.

Ash and oak  and spreading chestnut,
the maples most exuberant:
They know the drill, know
the disappointment of leafy canopy
stripped bare. They do not quit
nor do they slink away to shadow.

Even the fragile ferns, bent
by the wind, endure to praise the tempest
for the spores it spreads, and the brook,
ever joyful with its song, gurgles
beneath the crusty ice
throughout the season of freeze.

Each October, it looks as if the lilacs
are gone forever; each spring
they bloom again. To everything
there is a season. Whether we believe
or not, they will return. Such is the love
of our Creator.

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