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Do the roaming birds part autumn like the great sea?
A murder of ravens brings snow and disillusion,
Each wingtip marked with the devil’s fingerprints,
Charcoal wisps through air, dabbing cumulus with ink.
They shed plumage as trees shed skin and accessories;
All is naked against the pallid backdrop, and
Young lingering stars dare not peep from under their covers.
Each blackened feather drips onto the canvas below,
One stain, two, until ice seems sullied by blood.
But snow is not like death.
Part the changing hues of veined feathers
Upon bark and branches,
Splatter the blankets with cold deviance,
Slaughter the sky and pillage the mind as they may,
Winter picks up its tarnished gown and scampers away like
Cinderella, it leaves with a hushed whimper, it strays.
It takes with it a massacre.