In New York City I wasn’t told
That mid-May nights in Vermont can be cold.
Outside, our brook, short of sun
And wind, barely keeps up a run,
Just jogs and limps so as not to freeze;
Flexing her black tender knees,
The mare between the moon and the gate
Crops fiercely as if she couldn’t wait
For the calories to turn to heating,
And is blindly warming herself by eating;
Overhead, chipmunks shiver in rows,
Or heaps, or whatever racial pose
Chipmunks adopt; if there were lights,
The woods would be circus-crammed with sights –
Hedgehogs on inchmeal expeditions,
Toads in cool conjugal positions,
Somewhere the bug that bit me lying
Jubilant with my blood and dying,
Jays, if you can imagine it, keeping
Quiet, drops from bathers creeping
Back to huddle inside the lake,
And in the corridors where the snake
Exerts his snakiness unmolested
The hiss and wriggle being rested.
Fur-blanketed, a log fire lit.
I enjoy a comfortable bit
Of fellow-feeling: I can spare
That much for anyone out there.
Indeed, as soon as the next sun breaks
Itself on the farm’s edge and makes
A yolky breakfast on my wall
I’ll share it gladly with you all.

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