On windscreens and bonnets, ice forms white feathers,
spined and veined and silent. Autumn is knuckling under;
Winter comes with its sickle and its black fire,
an abrupt change in register, stinging the balls off
robins then sticking round for donkey's years,
belligerent, huffing breaths that curl like white feathers,
that hang like unclosed speech marks,
waiting for the thaw.