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.