The Little Ice Age
Europe shivered for centuries in the Little Ice Age.
Rivers froze; crops failed;
people chewed on pine bark, begged
the stubborn heavens for mercy;
That's why the Stradivarius cries so convincingly.
It's the wood remembering,
the stunned wood shuddering,
too numb to grow,
the tree rings huddled close against the cold.
-- first published in Field