Her many colored head, bedecked in Autumn’s finery
reclines against soft, brown-hill’d breasts.
Hunching shoulders of sleeping valley walls
protect the lingering leaves, giving them pause
to remain a little longer,
a little longer,
a little longer still for she knows of Winter’s intent.
Her rugged secrets remain, untainted,
even though she hungrily gave herself, surrendering
her supple haunches as Summer’s later lover.
But soon, her long, white atonement,
blankets her with redemption’s cooling hands.
The touch of icy claws rakes her back,
caressing her with sweet death.
She is purified in her dark sleep.
Then, as though in a dream, an untouched virgin
rises again in the womb of Spring.