Just a murmur of a scent —
whispering as it passes in my nose —
announcing a chill with a hint
of pine (sweet as it burns) carrying
smokey remembrances of hot chocolate
afternoons on rising clouds
of melting obligations.
Those fabled days — when white
shrouded the world as far as
we could image — of mythic adventures
unfold like loosely packed snowballs
too ravishing for famished children
hungry to breathe in winter’s
husky bite too often now.
The snow breathed heavy that day,
a jolt of icy white confetti celebrating
winter’s return. Paralyzed by the cold,
we watched, transfixed by the beauty
and ferocity, as winter played out
its first act. Dazzled by the scene, I reached
without thinking for the cold,
the glass chilly and inhospitable
on my fingers as I tapped myself
into the performance.
A stag, startled, heard my intrusion
and stared at us, a spark of terror
in his eyes, hoofs frozen in fluffy earth.
Nothing moved as he stood
staring in a stupor as snow and tree limbs
cascaded around those antlers, majestic
and stock-still. What bravery to survive
the savagery spitting numbing flakes
on a naked face.
Just as suddenly he stirred from his bluff
and disappeared behind the stormy curtain,
forever relieving me of his second act.
And I, roused and staring only at
my own reflection in the poorly insulated
window, resolved to buy some weather strips
and better protect myself from