The sun, a swollen ruby, droops between
the ridge and clouds, its glare
across the faces of the steadfast pair—
the first time it’s been seen
today by the lone hiker or his collie.
It brings a bit of heat,
unlike a winsome girl who seemed as sweet
as berries of a holly.
Though shelter for wild birds in a snowstorm,
the conifer of her,
whose leaves at first seduced him with their stir,
he found was far from warm.
In swarms above the snow, crows congregate.
From barren oaks they stare
at man and dog and, with grotesque fanfare,
caw harshly to berate
the two for having the audacity
to plod along this path.
Their shrieks of such vexation and such wrath
would frighten every tree,
if trees could hear and if they could be frightened.
Boughs scatter their shrill cries,
each utterance as stinging as her lies
had been. The sky has lightened,
and yet the sun will disappear behind
the hills in half an hour.
He knows he doesn’t have the slightest power
to stop it, or to find
the warmth he wanted from another being
still glowing like an ember,
yet gladly leaves that radiance, as December
and the red sun are fleeing.
(Appeared in Lucid Rhythms.)