Beneath the Hackberry

In the Hackberry

This is the second snowfall this year.
It came in the dark before dawn
and by mid-morning,
the sun shone,
painting breath-taking shadows
of Pecan and Hackberry trees.
The snow is fluff
and the north breeze blows it
into small crests.
The snowy landscape sparkles.
Even with the sunshine,
it is cold
and birds gather in a brush pile
next to a grain bin.
They are out of the wind there
and so I scatter birdseed beneath it
for them.
They take shelter as well,
their feathers fluffed in the breeze,
in the arms of the Hackberry
beneath which a wooden St. Francis of Assisi stands
holding a tray with more birdseed.
There are Cardinals, several kinds of Sparrows,
including my favorite little Juncos,
Doves, Red-Winged Blackbirds,
Meadowlarks, two Red-bellied Woodpeckers,
(so named, even though they have no red on their belly;
their head and the nape of the neck are the brightest red.)
No ice for us this time;
rather,
the beauty of sun and snow and shadow—
and fine company.

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