Early Orchard Snow

The barn door yawns slowly,
the rusted hinge loosening a soft moan
at the touch of the breeze
meandering off the orchard slopes.
Beyond the frozen ruins of the garden,
deer for a moment cease their hopes
of winter wheat and cock eyes and ears
toward the snoring barn.
Firewood hides beneath the snow
and my back cocks once, quickly,
as I gaze upon the axe.
Blessings huddle beneath the wood shed,
one dry cord.
Standing still again, I close my eyes.
The creek gurgles its way across the farm.
The barn door shifts in dreams.
Latching the door, I turn to predawn hills.
Row after white blanketed row
the apple trees wait, freshly pruned.
Like Arlington they stretch beyond sight, wonder.
Like the little ones snuggled close inside,
they slumber.
I close my eyes again and see blooms
and fruit.
I fill my arms and turn from orchard to orchard.


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