A fierce winter;

the coldest for many years.

Here in the village

the air hurts.

It is minus 27C.

Wrens are crammed

into an old hamster box

under the eaves
of the lean-to.

They are shuffling constantly.


In the morning

taking out the ashes, I find

eleven corpses

below the box.

Inside, still shuffling survivors

struggle for warmth.

Tonight it will be cold again.

By Dave Goulder

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