Robins alight from branches
to straw as we pass, burnt

orange breasts puffed, eyes rimmed
with white. Titmice, too,

sway on the arms
of the gnarled tree, bowed

as the air reaches
below ten degrees.

Headphones wrap your ears
like clenched hands, but your cheeks

are open to the air. Rubbing
your face, you look

straight ahead, another song burning
over the wires. This year, there has been

no snow—not the kind that accumulates
meaning. The reminders

of last year’s crop curl
out of the dirt, hardly frozen,

in the garden. The deep rivets
of winter tires on cars

are bare. You tell me
to slow down, your knee hurts,

but I cannot help speeding up,
the air is cold,

the sky has not fallen
even once.

 

This piece first appeared in the Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2015.

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