Les fleurs de l’hiver

in a brown study of a winter
anything bright draws the eye

one snowflake
wandering through the forest

the scarlet crest
of a pileated woodpecker

her knocks inaudible
above the ridgetop wind

working her snag all the while
i sip my afternoon tea

under a table mountain pine
whose sighs are endless

the sun almost comes out
but then it doesn’t

graupel ticking in the leaves
leads me to witch’s butter

a yellow rose turned
to enchanted flesh

feeding on the fungi they say
that feed on the dead

orange ellipses
on black birch

when bees are imaginary
any brightness can bloom

even green rocks held aloft
by upturned roots

or corrugated steel
chthonic with rust

below the ruin of a pine
sky filling the round holes

where limbs once stretched
toward the sun

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