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Winter Words by Sylvia Plath

In the pale prologue
of daybreak
tongues of intrigue
cease to speak.

Moonshine splinters
as birds hush;
transfixed the antlers
in the bush.

With fur and feather,
buck and cock
softly author
icebound book.

No chinese painter’s
brown and buff
could quill a quainter

On stilted legs the
bluejays go
their minor leagues a-
cross the snow,

inscribing cryptic
on their skeptic
search for crumbs.

Chipmunks enter
stripes of black
in the winter

A scribbling squirrel
makes a blot
of gray apparel,
hides a nut.

On chastely figured
trees and stones
fate is augured
in bleak lines.

With shorthand scratches
on white scroll
bark of birches
tells a tale.

Ice like parchment
shrouds the pond,
marred by misprint
of north wind.

Windowpane wears
gloss of frost
till dawnlight blurs
and all’s erased.