Jane Hirshfield

              One Penny

Everything draws back,
not so much a season
as a lack.

The maple sap burns low,
unfanned. Pondwater,
ice-blown, retreats to a corner.

The plowed drive's shoe-string
drops on a half-sketched map,
dirty, untied.

A rabbit-crossing
hops to the other side—
soft fold in the paper, blurring.

Movement I can't quite catch:
the fourth deer
of the afternoon, bounding away.

Where does she bed? There is
no shelter, only trunks too thin
themselves to stop a wind,

their colored leaves
long swept off, or scrubbed,
or whittled.

One faded splinter
rattles from a twig like a cough.
Even winter's used up—

no bright fierceness, no falling snow.
An icicle drips
in watered-whiskey sunlight,

the heart tips south like a tin cup.

Jane Hirshfield, Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2005.