Kalends of February Sonnet

Snow retreats to drifts in pockets of shade;
mist hangs around white birches by the stream.
Pond ice cracks, and waters rise as pale steam;
spotted sipsissewa shows itself in glade:
bright new green poking from beneath brown leaves.
Grackle, crow, and robin seem less huddled,
but shoreline is hard where geese once waddled
when farmers cut hay and rolled up gold sheaves.
At twilight a barn owl scrabbles in snow,
talons twisting in a mole or a mouse,
ere he sits digesting on a limb.
How long will it be until the stream’s flow
hurries through the marsh? Red maple keeps house
beneath bright stars filling heaven to brim.

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