by ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH
ALREADY I have shed the leaves of youth,
Stripped by the wind of time down to the truth
Of winter branches. Linear and alone
I stand, a lens for lives beyond my own,
A frame through which another’s fire may glow,
A harp on which another’s passion blow.
The pattern of my boughs, an open chart
Spread on the sky, to others may impart
Its leafless mysteries that once I prized.
Before bare roots and branches equalized;
Tendrils that tap the rain or twigs the sun
Are all the same; shadow and substance one.
Now that my vulnerable leaves are cast aside,
There’s nothing left to shield, nothing to hide.
Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone,
So fragile and so fearless have I grown!