To Waken
An Old Lady

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind ---
But what?
On harsh weedstalks
the flock has rested ---
the snow
is covered with broken
seed husks
and the wind tempered
with a shrill
piping of plenty.

--- William Carlos Williams

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