At edge of dawn the mist distills
in myriad strands of luminous beads
along the quivering lips of leaves
poised to tell the secrets in their keep:
what sends the sleek red foxes back
into their dens before the day descends;
or what it is that moves beyond the trees
when what it is that moves is more than breeze;
why moonlight lacks strength to make stars recede.
Old oaks are poised to give account of all of these.
Yet silence is the sacred bond they cannot break
unless the wind wills to turn them into instruments
to sing its songs in other tongues until it departs
and voices drop and fanned leaves fall
burnished but without toil to transform
the barrenness of autumns muted soil.