Night Watch in January
Snow lies nested in the bent old apple trees.
Our distant cousins, moles and squirrels, sleep
Away the winter. They have learned to keep
Their hearts slowed down through the uncertainties
Of chill and thaw that make the waking weep.
I watch the slow, sad wheeling of the sun:
It ticks away the minutes, one by one,
Behind a wall of clouds, tall, grey, and steep.
Yes, there are seeds in tunnels, bits of bun
(The remnants of some picnic in the park),
And the peaceful lull of January's dark.
But the cold can crackle, cripple, even stun...
© Kevin Berland, 1999
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