Sonnet for the Nones of December

Wedge of ice splits pond with un-looked-for force.
Wood ducks speed south, and long-necked geese depart.
Winter files petition for divorce:
Autumn, she claims, has too gentle a heart.
She seeks to live with a starker beauty:
Rolling hills of gray bedraped with first snow.
Every bird and mouse now has a duty,
to stay close to home, to eat and live slow,
to live with cold now, and frost expected.
Beech, ash and maple face season of fear —
friendless, solitary, unprotected.
They may fuel fires ere the turning year
(or fall to the storm or the builder’s saw)
lets Spring’s reforms repeal Winter’s harsh law.

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