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A Wisconsin Landscape
by Mary Jo Balistreri

Late in the day, early November,
a sheen of luminosity like the varnish
on a Dutch landscape offers silver
instead of gold.
The sun, turned cold,
replaces the honey-thick amber
of summer with a simple pearl setting.
Cloud banks build along the horizon,
their snow capped heights
reflected in opal iridescence on the pond.
Silhouettes of hickory and oak
provide tall verticals of slate-gray
where shivering leaves shake
the frosty air.

Silence stirs under gray flannel skies
as snow flurries drift languidly, float
pearly dreams that nestle
in bare limbs, pillow outstretched hands.
Barely a touch on the tongue, we swallow
a melted star in the new community of winter.


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