Under a cold and watery sun,
When the Midas-touched maple branches
Have bronzed and gone to sleep—

When people crunch the amber leaves
With mouse-like scurries, their eyes downturned,
Rushing through the cold—

As autumn melts to winter, and the biting winds ascend,
When oaks and aspens stand disrobed,
Reaching toward the ashen sky—

This is when the lockbox opens,
Surrounded by the gray decay of winter,
To reveal the hidden trove—

December blossoms, wrapped in scarlet,
Unseen by many passing eyes,
Shine forth like lanterns bearing hope—

The waning year’s icy hold is slipping even now,
But if you look in those short, bleak days,
Color remains, a harbinger of spring.