Preparing for Winter

The berries are like Mama’s shade-shifting lipstick.

Autumn is here. Sheila says our backyard holly tree is in panic mode over whatever winter weather is to come. The holly is ensuring that all who are hungry will have berries aplenty for the cold months ahead. She has prepared a winter feast.

Holly’s berries were green
then pinkish orange,
color deepening now
with each day that
the sun sleeps longer.
The berries are like Mama’s

shade-shifting lipstick, I
think, waxy green in the
tube, transformed to candy
apple red on her lips. “Don’t
you think you’re overdoing it,

a bit?” I asked Holly. I have
never seen so many berries.
She must be getting tired from
wearing all the jewels summer
has draped over her spindly arms.

Her only response is to blush
in the autumn light while mama
wren sticks her head out from
the inflamed branches and offers
up a scolding winter prelude.

Author: drdeacondog

I am a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and an ordained PCUSA minister.