Heedless of well-winded warnings,
I courted a winter.
And, in that icy flowering,
I learned–

How to be quiet,
Still as the snow-laden field.
How to conceal the pulsing of life
Beneath the surface.
The subtly shifting colors
Of a gray landscape.
The relativity of north and south
To migrant angels.
And the precise depth required
For a burrower to escape the freeze.

But now I would be done.
And how to extricate myself
From the frost flowers that spread
From his tooth on my tailbone
Has become my new study.
And trembling through it,
This history of marrow-shaking,
Deep-pulsing pain–
Like some twisted birthing–
Aims to deliver me.

Now the river ice breaks
And spills over the dam.
The water is rising,
And, as always,
The low places flood.
In the breaking light,
Where stillness reigned
For a season,
Forgotten melodies rise
As the sleepers awaken and,
With southern brethren
Providing the counterpoint,
Intone the instinctual morning fugue.

I stop and stare
At the half moon
That hides behind branch tips,
Fat with the hints
Of a soon-to-wake green,
And listen,
And hope
That this time
The thaw
Might reach my icy bones.


About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

One response to “Frostbitten”

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