Cardinalis (“Serving as a hinge”)
by Bill Richard

A cardinal perched on the branch
was pivotal
making all the difference.

white with snow
joined to ice-encrusted trunk.
rooted in frozen ground
surrounded by field of frost.
next to slate gray road.
leading to my front gate
listing and unhinged by weight of snow and ice.
My house
heavy with icicles.
And leaden sky
looming above it all.

After the phone message I am
weighed down
unhinged as the gate.
I sulk near foggy window
fragile barrier between
warm room and bleakness beyond.

I peer through the pane
look past gate
and road
toward the field
my eye drawn
to the tree.

Amid gray winter
appears a small, momentary intrusion.
That blood red bird
an epiphany
on winter’s white palette.

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