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Willow Tree Night and Snowy Visitors

Michael Lee Johnson

Winter is tapping

on the hollow willow tree's trunk--

a four month visitor is about to move in

and unload his messy clothing

and be windy about it--

bark is grayish white as coming night with snow

fragments the seasons.

The chill of frost lies a deceitful blanket

over the courtyard greens and coats a

ghostly white mist over yellowed willow

leave's widely spaced teeth-

you can hear them clicking

like false teeth

or chattering like chipmunks

threatened in a distant burrow.

The willow tree knows the old man

approaching has showed up again,

in early November with

ice packed cheeks and brutal

puffy wind whistling with a sting.



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