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Winter Panes by Wesli Court


Wings are fretting across my winter panes.

A downy hammers on his square of suet.

A nuthatch and her partner do a duet

Or flickering duel in which neither gains

Or loses much. Now, as the season wanes

An owl asks none too wisely, “Sir, to wit:

To whom may I be hooting?” “You may rue it

To find that out,” I say, but he explains


By asking that same question one more time.

I shake my head and argue it no further

But watch the seeds receding in my feeder.

A chickadee asks me if I will feed her

Once more before it’s dark. She shakes a feather,

Begging me before I turn to rime.