39. Winter

Softening the crust of frost,
a cover of down lies across.
Step on it, snap and crack.
Ditches cut the brittle land.

A carefully curved swan
balances on her white.
A stork stands vigil,
on a single red stalk.

In the distance foots fall,
high voices haul a sleigh,
muffled in duffels, and carry
in triumph their joy on the slide.

A veil of thaw on the pale
face of mist and drizzle.
Snow trickles into ice, and
long in tooth icicles drip.

In the park, squatting ducks cluster,
in reeds, barely a foot to stand on.
Heads tucked into their breast pocket,
listening to their hearts.