You are born each spring
as the ice acquiesces to the sun.
For weeks, maybe a month
you are as smooth and
pure as new skin.
Adolescence starts in June
when the lily pads start
experimenting with independence, and
suddenly you bloom into fullness
as the reeds tower along your shores
for a time of glory.
In autumn, you start to surrender
to the cooling conditions, and
age slows you into softening; reflection;
as preparations for the stillness
of winter take priority.
Then one day it comes with the frost,
all at once your wisdom becoming
something else entirely,
until it is time, again,
to be born anew.