did they notice
that alone among the conifers
you were fully cloaked
trunk to twig
in feathery tassels of new green?
While other trees
merely added pale buds to branch-tips ,
did they see that you lacked
their staid dark under-cladding?
Perhaps they did
but in summer you stood in the copse
like one of the rest,
an apparent evergreen,
your trunk driving towards the mountain sky,
needles dark and firm like any proper pine or fir.
Any suspicions they’d had were put to rest
as you set about the photosynthetic business of being a tree.
Making roots and cones and twigs,
you exhaled oxygen,
and soon you too forgot your odd feathery spring.
Yet as the nights grew crisp
your suspicions grew
that you were not, after all, the same as the rest.
Your mid-summer energy spent
your needles slowly brittled.
And suddenly one cold morning you were certain
that you were not to be ever green after all.
You burst into the frost-days of autumn
a fiery yellow larch,
shouting your gold
across the high mountain slopes
to others of your kind:
I’m here! I’m not like the rest! See me!