February 4, 2009

Of February


The sun on birch
the paper trunk peeling
away. We are patient.

The fence pole wears an elf
cap of snow, curving
towards the sun.

The road curves just there.
The car rebels.
The night is cold on the walk
home.

Bundled in down
fleece, wool, the cold
rubs at us like pumice
scraping through our
protection. Inside
clothes, the tender
warmth of skin.

Dogs chorus along
the river as the team
slides by; thirteen tongues
draping from thirteen
serrated mouths. Then
quiet. The yard dogs
curl their noses beneath
their tails, dream of fast
snow beneath their pads.

This conversation,
we’ve had before:
you start, now.

Small round dimples
punch through the snow’s
surface, the size of a cat’s paw.
They meander the yard
the ghost of a beloved
long vanished cat.

In the Sunday
paper: the first gardening
hints. Last year’s
pea vine stakes tilt
through snow.

This month has no season;
warm air on snow, then cold so deep
snow turns to sand. Deep down,
something stirs the ground.
Willow buds swell.

From We Tempt Our Luck, forthcoming from Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press.

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