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112th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Rockledge: Winter Trails

by Miles T. Ranter

Rockledge: Winter Trails

A luster plays across the glaze
on crusts and bombes and parallel lines
from skis that glided past the pines
lolling in Earth’s lantern-rays.

While a red-tailed hawk wheels round, wild geese,
with jet-black heads and white chinstraps
and squawks and honks and vigorous flaps,
mount a wind that won’t release

the region from its spell, like vines
wrapped round the maples, oaks, and willows.
The rubescent sun, unobscured by billows,
reflecting off the trail that winds

around this tract of land, descends —
a precipitous and fiery dive.
You wonder if you will arrive
before this blustery evening ends,

when Venus starts to scintillate
and foxes leave their lairs to stalk
the voles; as hungry as the hawk,
they’ll hunt as in the primal state.

Although the dark will soon devour
the way, you linger — and you dally
through the stillness of this valley,
draped in winter’s fleeting hour.

(Originally appeared in In Quire)

See all the entrants to 112th Weekly Poetry Contest