Winter Riddles

This could be any orchard,

filled with winter riddles.

These trees were made by a spider.

Not one naked fruit will fall.

Nearby, houses crowd each other,

mimic webs, the hidden weaver.

Still, carpenters work from a faulty

pattern; trees cut from the wild stand

as dwellings over ancient footfalls.

This orchard is a cloudy mirror.

Before it is a single image, many

silks, a blossoming center.

The city inches closer

for instruction: Streets are

too random, buildings too busy.

But one house knows, reaps its own

fruit, firm as a springtime apple.

Painters change its skin from

gray to a pale, joyful yellow.

Day by day hammers fill the house's open,

windy spaces. New roof keeps the sky

above, makes foundations solid.

The old dog breaks his chain, even,

to run past a rose-colored window.

In the yard, a spindling fruit tree

cuts the cold with a wispy offering.

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