Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Pricks and petals on ice

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You can run from the bad girl
or dance

Let's dance


Sprinkling sand on the icy steps
it's bad you know
but not as bad as I had expected.

Then it sinks in--the beautiful carnage
tree limbs litter the street, east and west
blackening ice-encrusted snow
pistol shots of limbs shattering ring
like the sounds of a bad neighborhood
Our neighbor's pine blocks the walk
it's limbs, normally high enough to walk under
brush the ground
a widow's green shawl dragging in muck

Multi-colored lights of the police at an accident
frame the end of night
Firemen in their trucks
clearing streets of downed limbs
flash a dash of yellow
Red caution signs--Road closed--on the cross street

Downed lines in the alley
Our power holds, but I doubt for long

At dawn, Storm and I pass the shimmering dogwood
I wonder if it will survive the day
without cleaving in half

We stay to the middle of the road
in case a big branch snaps
He's jittery from all the shots of limbs shattering
for once he hangs close like a needy lover

Back in the dry warmth, I watch birds at the feeder
A male cardinal splashes red in the dogwood

Gray squirrels sprint across ice-hardened snow
(Can't keep the bastards down)
A hairy woodpecker jitters toward the suet basket

The neighbors and I begin dragging limbs
stacking them by the curb


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1 Comment

That's it!
You stop there!
I wasn't done reading, you just stopped writing.

Stick it in the book, with the pictures.

Or send it to Grays for their last page.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 19, 2008 12:21 PM.

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