winter walk

snowy fallen branches

First snow, fallen on ice, canopies the woods.

Two bundled shapes tromp into the quiet

space between the trees, moving against the

three o’ clock glare into slats of shadow.

Each bootprint falls alongside an etching smaller

and more mysterious: the figure in black, with a stick in his hand,

marks each dalliance in the snow.  “Rabbit,” he writes

in pointed letters, with an arrow to show where the

animal began marking a mile-long path in three-inch

increments.  “Dog,” he proclaims—then adds a question mark,

for what if it should be “coyote” or “fox?”  Who knows

what creature crouches behind the next ridge,

under the nearby root?

throwing ice

Who knows what flicking tail

hovers in the water trickling under an opaque surface?

Trading his stick for a spear of ice, the figure in black

mans the bridge.  He will shatter winter from on high,

casting a weight onto the frozen expanse, forcing it to flow.

But ice cannot break ice; only the javelin shatters where

moments ago thrown snow burst in puffs of powder,

arms flung out like a Moravian star. The figure in mauve

perches on the snowbank, watching the creek move downhill

with a weight on its back; watching silver swords plummet from the sky,

defeated by their target.  No sound crosses the empty space, not a

crack of the creek giving way, not a sigh of branches or a crunch of

steps on the snow.  Nothing happens at all, except that the figure in black

hurls every ice hammer he can find, except that a chickadee cries

once for the figures to keep their distance, except that the sun

grins a softening grin at the hardened earth, heartily declaring a

golden victory in spring’s favor.

sun on the icy creek

Want more winter words?  Enjoy this!

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2 Comments

  1. Jessica

     /  December 31, 2012

    Beautiful!

    Reply

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