Finches

Ice in the woods, snow in the fields, a few finches singing. I look up in time to see their raspberry-colored faces and the black tears on their breasts. Of course, they are just trying to stay alive like the frozen river and the crows. But who would guess that, the way they dangle the bright necklaces of their music from the tops of the trees? Before nightfall, they'd better find where the last sprays of seeds have fallen, they'd better find shelter from the wind. And there they go, tiny rosettes of energy, as though nothing in the world was frightening - as though the only thing that mattered was to praise the world sufficiently - as though they were only looking, light-heartedly, for the next tree in which to sing; and here I am, at home again, out of the snowy fields, where I will take off my jacket, and sit down at the table, and go over my verses again.

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