Southbound


His stiff legs dig deep into the snow
Like these dragging winter months.
A lolling tongue and ears cast low
Spy the cabin amidst the sagging night.
I will nestle there when the sun has drowned
And the birds have taken breathless flight.

The hasty flock quivers above the frozen lake
On weather-beaten wings in this dimming mire
A piercing sting, a careening snowflake
Suckles on the warmth of my flushed ears
As the birds break into the horizon
South. Where there is neither ice nor fear.

What might greet them towards the end?
A home that glistens with shambles of light
That calls them back when frostier nights descend?
Or barren trees to start afresh like polished steel?
What measure of joy can be found?
What quantities of love can be revealed?

He gives me a throaty bark, a reprimand
Calling me to the billowing smoke of the woodwork
Inside its depths I will burrow until the dawn's command
No sleep for the weary or the searchers of the land.
And these winter months will drag on.

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