fig leaves

an early trek
a dusty road
and a hungry man —
there at the side
of the path stands
a tree leafy-limbed
a fig in full fruiting dress
unexpected in the spring
but the way seems long
without something
to sustain —
he crosses over
bends back the leaves
to find barren branches
nothing to show
for all its grand display
he draws back
silent a moment
and then, an oath —
o fruitless one
o bald deceiver
never shall you bear again

leafy limbs shudder
the trunk buckles, bows
and all that was alive
is withered in an instant

from the curs├ęd tree learn its lesson
the Son of Man sees all laid bare —
and fig leaves hide nothing