Still the squirrels sally forth to raid the suspended feeders of birds
as goldfinches are left gibbering in the hedge at those glorified rats
with bushy tails giving equilibrium, so chic, so chic.
The finches, charmed as they’d like you to believe, have ready feasts
to feast on elsewhere, so what are they complaining about?
It is the blackbird who serves them if they’d care to look, flipping fallen leaves
to reveal woodlouse scurrying for cover about bleached out roots and toadstools.
All are plumping for this cold, for this chill snapping empty branches
x-rayed bronchioles against the paper blank clouds; for when the sun
can barely bring itself to mount the sky but still does, creaking and groaning
as an old one, there is no time, there is no time for this heave and moan
and brittle descent, parchment skin which needs rubbing with oils and creams
to even remind what thirst is, dry and printless, pressed pale against the pane.
And the goldfinches scold the wakeful squirrels and the blackbirds raise the deaddead leaves, waiting for something new to come.