HOARFROST by Ray Spitzenberger

the old man

standing on the porch

surveys his universe

and sees

under the trees

piles of leaves

lying on the floor

of the oak grove

like heaps of hair

around a barber’s chair

the trees are bald

not a bird lingers

on cold hands and fingers

only a squirrel persists

in sitting on a frozen arm

as a frosty mist

envelopes the old man’s farm

and soon his vision

is blurred by nature’s decision

to cover the countryside

in hoarfrost

the trees shudder

in the icy wind

the squirrel scampers in

the hollow of the tree’s belly

to a warm nest

the old man shuffles back in

to the warm hollow

of his universe

Ray (Raymond) Spitzenberger is a free lance writer and artist who holds a Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Houston. He has published in numerous magazines and has just finished writing a book, IT MUST BE THE NOODLES: GROWING UP WENDISH IN RURAL TEXAS, WHICH he hopes to publish. He lives in a rural area near Houston, Texas, with his beautiful wife Peggy and their spoiled cat Gatsby.