The dead grass stands where it withered. The corn stubble,
a muted choir its praises more remembered than sung
in this landscape devoid even of the solace of snow.
The sun muted behind the gauzy sky makes no shadows.
No one here believes in spring.
Summer is a myth,
a story of the man and boys who worked these fields
and one day, coming late,
discovered the generous grain
and in their joy brought the rich harvest home.
Such bitter days fail to rouse even the keeper of this land.
He hides in the house, oiling tools gone down to rust.
The birds have departed, a faithless flock taking with them
the air’s last hymn.
Only the crow endures.
Songless in the cold, he cries like a feathered fool.
Yet sometimes, he senses beyond the punishing breeze
And then, taking wing, hovers like a spirit above the frozen earth
waiting to see what will happen.