The White Trees

by Jayant Kashyap

In time, leaves fall to become wings. Owls
leave hunting for winter.

Tree branches cocked in mid-air like flags;
the December snow envelopes them like air
— like breath — both visible and invisible.

Children, in the now lost leafshade build
a snowman, with twigs for hands, borrowed
from a white tree.

Someone in the distance brings a fir
to decorate their home for Christmas,
thinking of the spring to come.

Someone else brings faerie lights for
the streets.

The children look at them … smile!

When Christmas is over, there will still be
snowmen, in courtyards, for weeks, under
the invisible shadows of the white trees.

There will be so many names to call:
Holly, Juniper, Maple, Rowan.

In India, they’re unnaming and renaming
so many things, when (if) they ask you,
what will you call this white tree?