All night the scrape of diamonds,
crisping on our dingy roofs,
on steeples, kaleiding into holy bits,
on flat-roofed buildings, tiny wires,
each bearing crystal tubes
Where birds just stood.

All night the hum and hush of it
Like a million little jam jars
Gently sharding,
Sometimes the sullen fall
Of a limb too brittle.

The storm swallows up the answers
to our little questions.
Will the trees last the night?
Will there be hot coffee?
and what will become
of Old Muff across the street
and his cigarette,
orange tip proudly glowing in the falling ice.

In the pure blue morning
the city shrugs,
but every branch is filigreed
out to the very leaf.
The Lacemaker renders
wedding-cake perfection, even here,
on my banal suburban corner,
From the arctic stars.

Marilyn Mathis
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