Pond a sky-dimmed pearl
against snow’s white throat.
Sweet alyssum wilted,
crickets silenced,
bees crumpled
at the hive’s bleak entrance.

Somewhere under white’s cold grip
color waits, even though
white regards itself as
the sum of all possible colors,
even though white regards all else
as the exception.

Watch the sycamore render an opinion.
Her leaves are a satisfying brown, larger
than any hand. See how she saves them
till now, sets them free to cover the snow.
See how each one rests there,
dark as the strongest promise
palm curled, waiting.