Like James Whitcomb Riley, I too admire
those days when “The frost is on the pumpkin,”
but pumpkin days have come and gone
and I have had my fill of ice and frost.
I don my boots, protect my feet from ice
which could slice my face if I should fall.
I cross the crust over new snow
to feeders where birds left four toed tracks
three forward, one back, anticipated
my gift of seeds to crack in beak.
Fruit eaters get no sustenance from me,
subsist on poison ivy berries,
and other fruits, frozen on shrubs.
Woodland mice snuggle safe within their dens
beneath leaves and ice. They feed from
miniature stacks of hay like beehive hairdos.
Though highway crews have salted roads
and shovels scrapped ice from drives,
it clings tight to twig and branch.
Mountain trees fill with light. Radiant,
they catch the sun and burn with ice.