What Remains by Cynthia Reyes

Photo by Nicolas Peyrol from unsplash
 The colours have come and gone
 You know the ones
 Revered in poems and short stories 
 In blog posts and books
 The reds, the golds, the crimsons 
 Deep pinks and oranges and apricots
 Dazzling us with their glamour
 Then falling in the cold winds of November
 Turning brown and dry on the earth below
 So what remains?
 What remains is what was there before:
 The sturdy trunks of oaks and maples
 The birches, beeches, willows
 The grey-brown bark their only cover
 Rooted in the hillsides of our little valley
 Their branches giving rest to birds in flight
 The robins in their dozens
 The doves in their pairs
 The blue jays, in flashes of blue and grey
 An avian caravan on its way
 The annual trip to somewhere warm
 What remains?
 A few brave ones remain
 The doves and chickadees
 The cardinals, their brilliant red 
 Glowing from the branch of the evergreen spruce
 The squirrels, in grey and black 
 Their fur thick for winter
 The memory of salmon
 Dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands
 Struggling their way upstream
 To spawn.
 And the memory that someone saw a bear here once
 And heard a coyote howl
 What remains?
 What remains was ever thus
 The iron-grey water of the stream
 Gliding surely between its banks
 A glint of silver as it rushes over rocks
 In a never-ending journey toward the lake
 And the first snow on trees and grass
 And white on white, un-peopled chairs 
 Left outside to overwinter
 And the knowledge that in this valley
 Autumn is always followed by winter
 And winter by spring
 And if we’re lucky, we too shall remain
 And see another summer 
 And another autumn
 When the colours return, glorious. 
Photo by Erin Minuskin from unsplash

15 Comments Add yours

  1. kimaubrey says:

    Thanks for this lovely poem, Cynthia! Perfect for today’s weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely indeed! Also what remains: poetry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So kind of you, Marie-Lynn.


  3. dmwauthor says:

    Thanks Cynthia, the colours remain and repeat throughout nature.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dmwauthor says:

    Thanks Cynthia, colours remain and return.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed, Donna. Thank you.


  5. Clare Pooley says:

    This is a beautiful poem, Cynthia. A paean to nature and its steadfastness that we should take to heart in these troublous times. A hopeful song of strength in adversity. Very well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much, Clare. I’m so glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clare Pooley says:

        My pleasure, Cynthia.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane Taylor says:

    Memory and remembrance serve us well in the see-through sights of winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ronaldmackay says:

    Very fitting, Cynthia! Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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