needleafamily

from boreal border, where trunks crowd in tight, to tundra-touching taiga under midnight day and midday night, stretches winter-fir[m] far-reaching forest, the spiraling spread of the [s]pine. it’s there where Douglas found his false-hem’s lock, where spruce and cedar cede little space to ruminant or rock, where youngling yew and sage sequoia reign in re[dwood]cline.

this is the northern crown of the world, a ring of darkest green–that color catching every shard of shine in these light-hungry lands where summer’s scarcely seen. to face the frost and yet flourish, these sentinels seasonalter their chemiconstitutions: softened in warmth to wakenourish, hardened to hold up against the harshest winteretributions.

their dominant apexes, narrow and [la]conic, conceal carriers of next year’s saplings, embraced and embryonic. they must muster a most mysterious mist to master shedding shapes to shrug off snow. this they know the art of, because some among their number guard their cones in strobiluslumber for seventy north-and-southings of the sun. they only fall and open when firesmoke eatsmothers fathermother and all others; it’s only then scales sunder, seeds release, and death is once again undone.

so fire is their life as much as ice. we could say as precise: there’s pitch in their pith, but not only for burning. the strength of their secret[ion]s, then, is light[n]ing to our learning. their even-when-resting [res]internal warmth can foil the fungus and swat away the swarm. it’s not only when amber that this fluid ferries light; from sapling upward to sky-inscribing stratustriver, softwoods they may be scheduled, but they keep their own counsel as to counting day and night.

they [sh]are the tall[arg]est, eldest lives this world shows. lion-lair, hare-form, caribou-grounds; bear-den, beaver-dam, steelsalmon-sounds: these are the homes found wherever sempervirens grows. clean-smelling, good for climbing—and for sitting beneath, on a carpet of browneedles, while weaving a wreath; burrowing in protected while around the snow drifts high, and even though not tinsel-strung the branches shine to spite the sky.

throughout the white seasons, when Sol surrenders to Selene, the needleafamily never leaves, remaining evergreen.

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