When hard frost burns your nose, and every pain,
Sharp as white pepper, almost has a sound,
You hesitate to ever yield again
To coldness and indifference all around.
The singing insect’s home is cramped and small.
Its bed is hard beneath the crusted rime.
It sleeps, for there is nothing left at all
For it to sing about in this harsh time.
All contrast comes to add more to the sum
Of what we know exists beyond all sense.
We strain to hear that single, steady hum—
A knowingness explicit, faint and tense,
Akin to strings that tighten when you tune
Your fiddle to a song composed by bugs,
Leg against wing, who’ll play again in June
In concert, to an audience of slugs.