The revelers have stumbled home to bed,
leaving crushed beer cans and plastic cups
for joggers and dog walkers to avoid
as they hustle past my house in icy silence.
It’s too cold to talk or bark—too cold for birds
who shiver on bare branches to tweet warnings
that overhead a hungry hawk is circling
who plans to kill and eat them if he can.
Black hawk, gray sky, brown branches, snowy ground;
there’s zero color here and zero sound.
And then a bloody cardinal in the pines
flashes red against the monochrome,
cranes back his crested head and starts to sing
his cheery dawn-song, and ruins everything.
Return to table of contents for Issue 9 Summer 2015.