Fluffy Widow-maker

White Birch Witch by Emily Balivet
Fluffy widow-maker
squatting on the ridge,
go heavy on the rails.
Rot quickly and let us breathe 
free, while we are still standing.
Bone white lips 
tolerant of a tighter lockdown,
share sloppy snow kisses,
transforming all branches to birch
waiting to crack temperamentally
on our heads. 
Her smile is polar bear smooth,
frightening the twisted petioles
that dare to dangle 
outside of their new diameter.
Silver diamond marks
like veering sleigh tracks,
dwarfed and bedraggled.
Her children shedding bark.
They say the tiny flakes 
are the real monsters,
painted white to minimize 
disease.
Icicle tickles
dying in daylight, still 
beats the sun damage, fungi
and careless cracks that often kill
the local variety. 

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