He loved warm winter days when woodlands opened
their summer secrets to a passerby.
Treeshadows lay crisscrossed, low creeks deepened,
borrowing their cold blue from the sky.
Icicles glistened on the rock-backed ridges,
a field of broomsage hissed in the wind.
Frost and fencepost shadows melted by edges
of pasture-fields where coal-black cattle stood.
Sunlight ricocheted from tin-topped barns,
streaking the chalk walls of the limestone quarry.
Between white sycamores the river turned,
sure of where it was going, in no hurry.
from The Mountains Have Come Closer, 1980 ©
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