Snow comes sifting down, layer after layer
To the bower of this reedy pond.
Overhead, the umbrella of winter
A chastely figure, augured in white lines,
Covers the clapboard grasses.
The wind stiffens into place over ice,
How its voice howls, how it blots up
The bones of water, shadows of fish;
Its black bunched fingers tug at me-
For a warmth, I seek the frog-mouth liquor.
I become a blunt, clumsy stumbler,
So slow against all that numbing;
I sink into a caul of forgetfulness,
Drowsy in a cold womb,
Slow effacement at the snow’s hand.
Winter’s mid-wife slaps my footsoles,
My nakedness is mirrored on frozen pond,
I wake to listen: Spring whispers in my ear-
I am a new statue in thawing air; the window
Square of warmth brightens, swallows the cold.