For my friend J who likes neither poetry in general nor an extended winter...
When skies turn the color
of an old metal bucket
and cold rains fall without mercy
on the sodden pines,
it serves us well to seek solace
in the hidden colors -
the scarlet of the wintergreen berry
tucked under emerald leaves,
the sudden flash of a blue wing
or a red feather,
the fading orange of the oak leaf,
the last flame of the sumac.
Purple smoke pipes a line
of indecipherable writing across the horizon
and the washing,
left on the line in hopes of sun,
waves pale hands in your direction.