A Warm, Wintry Place

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Whirling snowflakes thrust as ash,
Shrieking ghosts against the sash;
Out of the black they silently fill
A narrow place on the window sill.

Frosty sketches of evergreens
Gleam white and mimic country scenes,
Chilly art on canvases of panes;
Free paintings doomed when winter wanes.

Behind a wall of glass and frame
In a box of brick erupts flame;
Tongues whose hunger is the tree
Lick giant logs greedily;

Forging hot armor to fend off cold
And comfort the bones of young and old,
Weaving dreams in the dance and spark
Of each wood-corpse's skin of bark,

Axed from prayer with upraised members,
Dying brightly as scarlet embers;
Forgotten are the snow and ice
In the warmth of the wooden sacrifice.

With the roar of a thousand trains
The ghosts depart with their frozen rains;
Weary sleepiness blurs fading sight,
Ushered by a fire in smoky flight.