They stretch across the woodland paths:
strong anchorage for bordering trees,
or grasp a rock on mountain-side
like eagle’s talons.

Roots must be the hardest ligneous stuff:
proof against rot and tough as hide.
Roots of trees outlive the parent stock −
as do our own.

In autumn of the year, they lurk
concealed by drifts of fallen leaves.
Then hidden roots may trip the unaware −
as may our own.