Ice aches and eases
a luscious pleasure
for the solitary walker,
where morning flings its shadows,

extravagant and pat,
across playground and parking-lot.
Cars are stunned
by a Yuletide smother-love.
Bushes weigh

their meted dollops,
and the boxy clapboard churches
are drenched and cleansed
by a piquant light from the east.
One for every block,

they favour a dapper
domestic garrison air.
Time now to register
pangs of accord
between each yearning object

and its heaven-sent word,
before cars cough and lurch to life,
dislodging snow,
and churches receive
their annual revellers,

the strenuous, frowning carollers.

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