February Woods


Tall oak trees stand in winter woods,
Still bare and waiting for the spring.
The silver brook is waiting too;
Deep silence now on everything.
Where once were soldiers’ marching feet,
In boots that sloshed through mud and snow,
Men were hid near these tall trees,
Brave men who fought so long ago.
I like to think George Washington,
When camping where our house now stands,
Stopped beside the brook to drink
The water cupped within his hands.
Sometimes I almost think I see
Faint shadows of his musket-men—
The great commander on his horse,
In winter woods as it was then.

[illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann