The willows are brown again this year.
Skeletonized leaves hang crisp and curled and I wonder
how many years in a row can this happen
before they truly die?
How long can they survive with only the tinge
of pale green on so few leaves?
I wonder what disease or parasite is so selective,
sweeping through the woods and only
preying upon the willow.
Maybe next year will see the resurgence.
Maybe next year the green lanceolate loveliness will spring again
and quiver in time to the breeze, thrill
to the stormy gale and bob happily
in the gentle rains.