A Cloud of Words for Winter

by Sam Rasnake

The poverty of my words — an empty

birdfeeder in deep winter, the ground

snow-covered under skies thick


with grey imaginings — has no way

of knowing the secret places.

What I would say hides


in the heavy grain of rock, smoothed

into cold river bottom that no hand

will ever touch, no sun over pine


and laurel will ever notice. The trout hovers

in shadow but explains nothing

in the fan of tail against the current.