The night ice oozes thickly through the blood.
Frost crumbles leaves; the reeds stand hard as spears.
The hills are silent, fleeced with snow. An owl
is watching, still as stone, for prey; the old
man dreams, his skull all echoes with the sound
of closing doors; his bony feet lie white,
and cold as the roots of leafless trees. Night
is all; no gleam or moonbeam lights the ground.
Deep in his bed the old man grabs a hold
of the sheet. The night beasts snuffle; they prowl
the dark beyond his door. And then, no fears:
the night ice oozes thickly through the blood.