Red Berries In The Snow

by Michael McGrath – 1985

I don’t know what type of tree it was,
Winter had taken the life from its limbs and branches,
Leaves had long since flown with the wind,
But, two berries remained dangling from a mere thread of fibre,
Bright Red Berries they were,
They almost glowed in contrast to the grey and white of the northern winter landscape,
They trembled in pulsating blusters and seemed so alone and out of place,
Red Berries in the snow

I stopped in my snowshoe tracks,
Then stomped and packed down the snow in a circle,
From a nearby pine I took some boughs to lay in a circle,
Here I lay down in the resounding silence,
Searching white clouds floated in the pastel blue sky,
A winter pale sun danced off of the infinite white blanket of snow,
I took comfort in the peace here on the outskirts of town,
Red Berries in the snow

Everyone else had moved on,
I felt as though I was more or less surviving these long winter days,
An entirely new and vast world lay before me at the edge of town,
Yet, I felt like a bird with a broken wing,
I could not fly and I did my best to deal with life on the ground,
The confines of town streets and the house pulled me and beat me down,
I may as well have been black in the middle of small town texas,
Red berries in the snow.

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