The Winter Berry

"Clusters on humble hedge twigs in the park"


The winter berry is a cheery thing
To land-bound creatures and those on the wing.
It drapes in sprays along bare estate walls
And festoons prickly ivy ten feet tall
Lights up the cedar fences aged so dark
Clusters on humble hedge twigs in the park.

It spurns the gentler spring, summer and fall
Bursts on the stage of nature when it’s all
Cold wind and rain and ice and snow and sleet
Still peeking red under a frigid sheet
Of snow, it tempts junco and chickadee
With juicy snacks to relish with their tea.

But surely there is wisdom in its ways
For choosing dark and dismal winter days.
When old December slips by dank and glum
And January plods without much sun
There’s little competition for the very
Brave, scarlet, cheery, showy winter berry.

Copyright © 2010 by Violet Nesdoly
I wrote this poem some years ago, after going on a winter walk and noticing how even the cold and snow didn’t dampen the vibrant red berries. I was reminded of it a few days ago when our first snowfall again showed up their brilliance.

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