North country sky evolving, mottled gray,
tea-stained blue, and deep smears of buttermilk.
Slopes of evergreen hold armfuls of newborn snow
while their hardwood sisters lining lower meadow
glitter in diamond and pearl from the preceding rain.
This is a beguiling roadway of mercury glass and hoary
limbs, the bejeweled call of promiscuous sways,
pale powdered skin.
And then suddenly in curve of Taconic
one startle-stark, enormous willow.
Against the ink and snow shadowed evergreen
and the porcelain and ice of hardwood wiles,
this foreign, coppery head of tendrils
—too limp, elastic, wavering to hold ice, ink, or snow—
stands vast and strange and singularly alone.