by Mark A. Johnson

He drags his feet slowly
along the icy way home
and thinks of the day:

Branches of trees cloaked in ice,
abandoned by leaves
that flew south to the ground.
They couldn’t bear the bitter disguise.

Arrows, carved from shoots of pine,
could not flail the beast.
They struck then shattered,
like icicles surrendering to the frozen earth;
the shards of failure
contritely vanished into the snow.

The world, clouded by tears,
sank like his hopes
into the wells of his eyes.