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Bright, sparkling, clear day of winter,
the first day of the year at play
in this garden of Eden.

The rowdy wind flexes its muscles,
somersaults across the trees
and plays kick-the-can with leaves

as they clatter up and down the street.
Bright sparkling, clear day of winter,
beloved by pine trees and firs,

who shake their skirts and toss their heads
and straighten their aprons
in celebration of the new year’s arrival.

The winter sun wraps its chilling arms
around the dark oaks where mistletoe
hangs like giant Christmas balls

and reduces the ladylike white birch to a sleepy stupor.
The naked long-limbed branches of the willow
dance and sway side to side

across the small creek that carries sere leaves
and broken branches and autumn-colored ducks
that paddle around small rocks and yellow reeds.

The sharp sun beams through its blue sky portal
and sets in relief the street man
who rummages through trash barrels

for empty cans and bottles,
setting aside half-eaten sandwiches
and luncheon treats for later consumption

then throws the bulging black plastic bag
over his shoulder, making the bottles clink
as they settle down among the cans

while he walks to the empty playground
that waits in patient silence for the arrival
of the laughing children of spring.

Bright, sparkling, clear day of winter
shows the frosty breath
of the heavy-set, hip-jiggling girl in green

who jogs in the wake
made by long legs
of the young black boy

who slides and glides
along the slipstream of paths
while their stream of conversation

tacks back and forth
in the winter breeze
and startles the small dog with a wagging tail

who sits in a gray camper truck
that wears a kayak on its roof
and waits while the man with a plaid cap

unloads a silver and black tricycle,
long and low and elegant, then
slides down into the molded leather seat.

Man speeds off, dog racing alongside,
as a tall yellow pennant at the rear
whips in the cool breeze.

Bright, sparkling, clear day of winter
with swashes of chartreuse
streaking through the emerald grass

making eyes to squint to mute the vibrancy
while infinitesimal pin pricks of lights
dance behind closed eyes

blinking off and on, each a minute life
played out on a red stage
as the wind tosses and taunts and prods

to create the first poem
of the first day
of the new year.

 

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