In the gardens of the Premier’s palace
with its white Baroque facade there are
children’s swings and a red roundabout.
The linden trees the old Archduke planted
though leafless are evergreen with outbursts,
festoons of mistletoe, their berries
opalescent in the gentle wintry light.
A dozen or so mistle thrushes graze
amongst the leaf mould and peck in the branches –
but one, perched at the top of a tree, sings
its trilling, boundless, woodwind airs as if all
of the provinces were quiet and listening.