Winter Bells

high above the town
a tree rests on a black stone of sap

like an exclamation mark
for a life sentence

or the old hearth and chimney
that i found yesterday

standing alone
deep in the state forest

we are confronted by the absent
the deciduous undead

drained of sap
immune to the provocations of sunlight

their pantomimes of desire
reduced to mere architecture

while stones dance
through freeze and thaw

all winter long now
rocking in their cradles of leaves

the day after the solstice
the sun reappears

in the dark ice-free end
of a woodland pool

for a long moment just after noon
amid the clamor of bells

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