November Pines

Seven firs gather
around a park bench,
a stand of weary backs
and creaking knees
and aching feet
too hard-nosed to sit.

Branches droop;
boughs hang heavy,
like green icicles
that have beaten
winter’s crystal ones
to the punch.

The pines press on
squaring their shoulders
warding off winds
boarding birds
discharging their duties
refusing respite.

Stoic evergreens
snub both praise and pity
and bid me farewell,
then brood and blather
on which is finer—
sainthood or martyrdom.

about the author
Joan Harris describes herself as an old soul in a young body.  She’s 46, retired, and beginning a second career as a writer. She loves simple pleasures and recently started a personal blog of poetry and stories at She lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with her husband and pets. Her work has appeared previously in Mock Turtle Zine as well as in the Antioch Voice.