Schoolboys on their way home stamp
       Through frozen puddles, shouting
“Gene! Look here how thick it is!”
       I see their bright caps bobbing
                           At a distance.

Sparrows fluff their feathers out
       Against the cold. They rattle
Dead leaves underneath a tree,
       Pecking the earth. I call them
                           And they scatter.

Locust pods hang in dead curves,
       The frozen seed suspended
In the unkind wind that drags
       Slow smoke from chimneys.
       I have not pockets
       Enough for my red hands.