Lichen Home Decorators (Poem)

We dangle from spruce and from fir,

tangles of living tinsel, netting
gold beads of early dew, of polished silver in moonlight. We’re paper that climbs trunks, like frost on a pane, here and there dotted
with tufts of coral, of horsehair.

We hang out in clearings, splashed pink on upturned roots,
along with our band of
tiny trumpets and

rounded red-heads.

And we drift on the floor too, crisp clouds settling
among the velvet mosses.

Without us, the forest
would be naked, the
spartan room of an ascetic monk, But for certain this is no
naked forest.

It’s an opulent old home,
years of collections spilling
from drawers and shelves, crowding closets and walls. Only time
can adorn like this.

You city parks,
you planted clearcuts,
all you saplings everywhere (where the wind is clean and pure): we can handle your decor,
no embellishment spared, if
you can spare a century or two.