Pale golden sunlight through thin clouds
lays across the skin of ice on the
lake creating vague gray shadows.

Grasses, once bright yellow ochre,
now the color of an old bristle broom
crowd out muted brown and green lichens.

Bare brown trees stretch up from the ground,
reaching scraggly fingers as if to say,
give us back our leaves, we are naked and cold.

In this landscape of diluted colors bright
red berries cling to the dried spindly branches
of an old bush hiding in the trees.

Holding on to their color with fierce
determination, saying, we will not leave,
we will stay bright, defying winter.