The berries hidden in cold green
Are bright pure carnage, heart
Of lyric softness hardly seen
Behind the sharp and warlike part.
The leaves, like barbed leather
Of shields, shine green in sun—
Old snow still weighs it down
And traps winter weather
As drops accrue, one by one,
Like gems that clasp a crown.
Ernest Hilbert is the author of four collections of poetry, Sixty Sonnets (2009), All of You on the Good Earth (2013), Caligulan (2015), winner of the Poets' Prize, and Last One Out (2019). His fifth book, Storm Swimmer, was selected by Rowan Ricardo Phillips as winner of the 2022 Vassar Miller Prize and will appear in 2023. He lives in Philadelphia where he works as a rare book dealer.
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