Mist rose from every morsel    as if all of earth          exhaled

Stumps         once-stiff          sank        into damp wormdirt

Ice-green salt scattered    sidewalks     like     shattered   glass

Streets gleamed snowmelt          even dirt roads               shone

And all the pines sighed             having shed their heavy veils

While this cold soul       had come to expect               only winter

That day       wandering       half-blinded       by the breath

Easing        out of earth        and everything        else

A prayer rose               from some         permafrost part of me

Before the ice could return                     to have its way

Winter        interstice        December thaw:        praise