young William Carlos Williams
To Waken an Old Lady
by William Carlos Williams
[from Sour Grapes (1921)]

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind–
But what?
On harsh weedstalks
the flock has rested,
the snow
is covered with broken
and the wind tempered
by a shrill
piping of plenty.