December Pastoral

Sun-dogs lope over the bloat of a rise,
and the nocturnal kills freeze in the ditches
waiting Spring’s decay, crows or an inmate’s spade.

What is strewn there: husk in the fields,
cans in the fields, bags in the fields,
stiffen as strata before next-Autumn yields.

Smoke plumes flat from the chimneys
of those at rest for a season at best,
and all the green tools are put away.

Long-fingered frost blooms on the limbs,
threatens the wire, renders each
these gaunt and barren things
a hard-crust and promise of fire.

The harrier glides down close to the ground,
long-swept with hunger to catch there a sound.

Image: Osman Rana on Unsplash

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