The bare snow-gum trunks
layer the hillside;
at a distance like wolf fur.
Warm. Welcoming.

Up close, less so -
like skeletal fingers beckoning to me:
"Come join us. The fall is not so bad, we promise."

I shudder. Not just from the wind
sending soft tufts of cloud scuttling
over the ridgeline ahead,
but from a sudden premonition -

Of bones slumbering amongst
silent white trunks
and snow-laden clouds descending.
Covering. Smothering.

Like fur.
Like soft, white fur.