Daffodil stems mingle with tendrils of baby-fine hair, 

A crown above her fresh face.

Eyes gaze at the world, anew.

She makes her verdant bed among lush loam,

The dew-spotted grass tickling her wiggly toes.

The maiden stands, wobbles, and takes her first step.

She falls, laughs–

The sweetness of hyacinth breath lingers.

Then she sings with robins,

A symphony of bird melody in the early hours.

She finds her voice, her way, and forges onward.

Her limbs lengthen with the daylight,

And she dons a green robe

Lined with wildflowers.

Her perfume is summer blooms,

And her song is crickets at night

And cicadas during the day.

Her skin warms and darkens

As she comes into maturity.

The mother cradles her middle’s slight bump

And walks with strength

Through dense forests and fields,

Life at its fullest everywhere.

As she winds deeper into the trees,

The rustling leaves begin to change–

Slowly at first, a hint of red or gold on the tips,

Just as the mother’s body ages.

Her robe trails orange, crimson, and yellow,

Mirroring the tree’s wardrobe.

Together, the forest and she shed their summer coats

And pull on new ones of brown.

Although the earth seems barren around her,

Hidden life grows within and without,

Unseen by the eye, but expected with hope,

With time, which she spins as the days die a little

And a chill creeps into the air.

Soon, she wraps herself in a blanket of white,

Which conceals much of her aging body.

Her form molds with the skeletal trees,

Which, when decked in that glimmering purity,

Brings a somber stillness, a quietness, a peace,

That life is only slumbering.

The darkness wins for a while,

Yet at night, the crone sometimes lies

Under a star-studded velvet-black sky

And beholds the eternity of the life cycle

Of everything, from the smallest creature

To the most giant of stars.

She closes her eyes and becomes one

With the earth, surrending her body

As new life is birthed.

The maiden blinks open new eyes

And sees afresh the first bud.

Then she tunes in her ears

And hears the first birdsong.

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