in the hard-pour of January rain
hollow reeds of black-eyed susans
stiffen and crack under the ice-weight
as it wraps itself around each slender stem.
Spiny heads covered by crystal caps,
they bow with every crack, and each cry
is a prayer of contrition, a hymn they sing
to the white-haired goddesses of winter,
watching, remote, inside their crystal-cold cathedrals.
Carol A. Stephen
January 12, 2012