Light snow. The juncos perform

their slow choreography in the pine,

one at a time at the feeder,

the basket of suet. Never

a duet of feeding. They’re formal

in their morning coats

and black caps. Light

as the air that bears them

bough to bough then off

across the frozen yard

where they merge

with grey February sky.


The empty tree lifts

its bowed branches

offering paired cones

to the weather. Snow

heavier now. Silence rises

up along the river valley.

Nothing to be done

but live and listen.

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