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Mervyn Linford

After freezing fog

It s cold along the river
and the quiet
is almost tangible.

Reeds are furred with frost
and slithers of thin ice
cling to the margins
with their frigid fingers.

The fish are lying deep-
jewels in a casket.

This is winters heraldry:
trees are armorial-
feathered fleur-de-lis.

A crow is a black prince
flying over white fields
and the ice-queen
touches the umbeliifers.

On mornings such as these
we re in the reign of light:
gold on a blue shield-
the landscape in ermine.