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Winter Speech

Bare trees move when the wind blows,

but without the tremble -

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a rooted compliance.

Insects vanished, the brown decay

of apples left on branches slows

to a cold sweetness - food

for a flock of winter birds whose wings

mime absent leaves.

Too cold for snow and the river's freezing -

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changing its languid voice

for a slush of stillness.

The tensile air

turns down the volume

on all loud ways.