Sure, it could be snow that covers his stick-like torso;
ice has already hollowed out his head.
Yet he sits and sings under the shadows left
to the evening by the lonely winter’s day.
He sings. And while he sings the sun appears to rest…
So still, it must perpetually crest the perpetual ice;
so still, it permits the snow to re-freeze back into icicles
hanging off the barn, as if it were a cave
where some ancient, tusked mammoth had drifted off to sleep—
How they must sting the hands of little boys who
break them off for fun or food.
Sure, they know he can’t be there.
Sure, they run from a gust of wind, these boys.
But they all know the tune by now,
how it all starts so harmoniously
and how it ends with icicles and wind.
Still, they stop to listen. They stay to play.