He holds vigil in a ravaged tree,
his fields, once tall with corn,
now snow-tipped stubble.
He accepts the unforgiving wind,
the cold, thin light – not wishing
for tomorrow or warmth or spring –
alive only in what is.
I close my eyes, clear my mind
of stubble in my own fields,
gather Now around me like feathers,
When I look again, he rises
on fierce, decisive wings –
his crimson tail brilliant as truth
in the January sky.
First published in the Prey Tell Anthology