The silence of the winter woods is sound;
Feathers fan the air along the wing,
Snowshoes crunch the powder to the ground,
Breezes start the fir trees murmuring;
Through an icy window, water plays
Child's piano of its warmer ways,
Chirp and crack and plop will soon converge
As bird and branch and falling drift emerge.
In almost-quiet we can value noise.
Train tells its passing, plane its path away
Out of our knowing like abandoned toys
Lost in growing through the childhood days.
Perhaps it was that old, worn tennis ball,
Bouncing sunny hours away against a wall,
Maybe just a long, peeled stick
Racing down the fence-line, click-click-click!
On the snow the shadows of the trees
Spread their lines like living poetry,
Tangled thickets once, we read with ease
The path across the chill simplicity.
Nothing here to gather or to save,
To forward or to file, to give or have;
In the silence we have understood--
Heard the lesson of the winter wood.
The Winter Woods by Judy Schilling