Desert sun swelters yellow sand.
Rough-skinned old men
gnarled by relentless torture,
struggle to keep arms and fingers
pointed at the sky.
Years of silence
deprived of the necessities of life
struggle on despite the pain.
While they are watched, they do not move.
If you turn your head, they take a break from
their disciplined stance.
Moving trees paint a picture
of ugly, twisted life.
No graceful boughs or soft green foliage.
Raspy bark, prickly leaves, twisted arms
give evidence of Saharan summers, Arctic winters.
And the harsh wind
trying to bend
trying to destroy
never gives up, never stops trying, even after
the old man falls, roots to the sky
tired of fighting, tired of being.
Still, despite the hardened, weary surface,
one who has seen the strife
and battled the merciless wind,
will find the grotesquely scarred carcass,