A Winter's Day

The tree, transfixed against the sky's cold pink
looks etched in ink, black and jagged, its
bark brittled by winter incisions of ice.
A small sparrow alights on the twisted wood
chirping like a light tinkling of bells
its clear tones chinking the vacant air.
Snow, white and rock-hard, coats the nearby
hill and frost rimes it, increasing its chill
to colder, harder exhusions of freezing air
icing-up the currents of the afternoon.
Down below, in the town, small spires of
tentative smoke wind their way upwards from
rickety chimneys, the fires within heating
shivering men and women whose
fingers are numb.  Such a winter as this
they never have seen, even the river is
frozen and the village pond opaque with
thickly layered ice and all the fish dead.
You can see their silver and gold forms 
fixed at unnatural right-angles and
it makes the people afraid.
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