beneath the glistening ice of February
the sap of spring     slow     begins its flow,   reaches
toward the verve of rebirth,     tentative against
occupying forces of insistent winter
but the birds have begun to drag morning
over shadowed horizon with their incessant
song and trill and cluck and the waning night
besmirched with the oily stench of young skunks
while a fat raccoon trundles by suburban
dumpsters in search of family takeout
on her way to the six new cubs in her drain
by the curb   .  .  .    she stops to witness the man
returning late from his nightshift factory
job,   his smile and nod meaningless to her.


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