Winter

February 13, 2019

This is the season:
Cradle of quiet,
Trees, waiting,
Naked on the hill,
Branches entwined
Like lovers holding
Hands.

Nothing is hidden.
A lone leaf quivers
On the apple tree.
Snow has yet to fall.
Waiting, the grass
Lies mute.

It could be death but
Isn’t. Yet. Wings
Quicken serrated air
As nuthatch, junco,
Chickadee flit from
Tree to tree, oblivious
To the hawk circling
Overhead, waiting,
Like the grass, for what
Comes next.

And it will come,
To all of us—there’s
No exception—
But if that frightens
You, hold it like
A stone beneath
The tongue until
Fear softens, and
You realize that
Nothing is ever lost
But is, instead,
Transformed as one
Door opens to another,
As even now light
Lifts the shadows,
And, out of sight,
Sap, wakeful, whispers
In the apple tree.