Ten degrees or less for a week,

Birch trees crack in the rock-black night,

but every morning there are Chickadees,

oblivious, tiny experts

working the merest possibility

of a seed, a stone-hard berry.

Perhaps only small birds

live quick as a hop and peck,

bright fluttering over old snow

and the dark sleep of bears.

Should cold ever gather

over me, may I also be

the genius of my own winter,

tough as Chickadees.