The skaters on green ice make slowly
grinding syllables, while their breath
hits the cold with a thud. The crows brush
the air with a silky black sweep
and the air brushes back
with a bite. The fire in the snow
has a bitter laugh
and the boughs close to breaking
bear the weight of the weather
with a moan seeping out
of the wood. In the throat
of the inn sign that hangs from a hinge
is a cry coming loose in the wind
and as the hunters lead them
down a steep decline, the dogs
nail their barks to the chill.

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