Winter. Cold. Frigid. Icy. Treacherous. Daunting. Sparkling. Surprising. Bleaching. Reducing.
The winter solstice moves closer. The days shrink. Freedom adumbrates. I draw closer to the computer ; I stock up on flashlight batteries and solar powered radios. I watch the first flakes waft innocently down, sifting through the sullen clouds, landing harmlessly on my red car and recycling can. But those flakes have a way of gathering. They collect. They conspire. Soon- a gaggle of snowflakes coats the street and the driveway and the newspaper that the neighbor forgot to pick up this morning. The street whitens, blends with the lawns and driveways. The snow seals the boundaries of house, street, and land into one romantic country estate. I think my wintery thoughts: divorce, old age, illness, sore muscle, death. I shiver.
Hello Winter, hello flanneled
blanket of clouds, clouds
fueled by more clouds, hello again.
off to the west, that sliver
of sunset, rust-colored
and gone too soon.
And night (I admit to a short memory)
you climb back in with chilly fingers
and clocks, and there is no refusal:
ice cracks the water main, the garden hose
stiffens, the bladed leaves of the rhododendron
shine in the fog of a hug moon.
And rain, street lacquer,
oily puddles and spinning rubber
mist of angels on the head of a pin,
and snow, upside-down cake of clouds
white, freon scent, you build
even as you empty the world of texture-
hello to this new relief,
this new solitude now upon us,
upon which we feed.- Mark Svenvold
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