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Awake, stretching, peering through open window, an hour after dawn.
Lone, defiant, orange-red rose contrasts with frost-white lawn.
Sharp air stings the nasal passage as I breathe deeply of the early day.
December mornings offer nothing like the hues and smells of May.
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Above the fence beyond the lawn, snake the branches of the blackberry bush.
A bush, which in spring and summer cradled sparrow, blackbird and thrush,
As, full of the joys of new life, they united in disharmonic song,
Now appear clawing, threatening, throughout the winter long.
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There, where my grandson played football on the new-mown grass,
Green, soft and yielding, when he fell as he made a pass,
Now seems stark and menacing, clothed in bitter biting white.
The daylight hours are ominous, and worse, the frightening night
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