Where Winter Is
December thirty-first we go to bed
at the usual hour. No paper hats,
to toot at midnight.
Others may claim a year ends
a year begins but it's just winter
The movable feasts that mark the cycle
of our seasons are the night
the pond freezes
the day the ice goes out.
The gray cataract skim turns
fall to winter in one night.
Then the year ends.
The ice sheet softens like a wafer
soaked in wine
the pond opens like
a sleeper's eye. That day
the year begins.
winter's more another place than another time.
No Julian or Gregorian reform
can patch the cycle here.
is its own world where roof ice
grins at the moon with crystal teeth
shadows strike sun-bleached snow
as an archer's arrows.
wears winter out.
The meadow mouse stood as tall as it could
on three of it's very short legs, stood it's ground,
considering a blow to our cat's nose.
Every hair on its body erect to seem as big
as a meadow mouse can, but was still smaller,
relatively, than I would be facing a lion
on the African veldt. The blueberry bush
over their heads became a spreading tree.
Our little cat was too young to realize
its responsibility.Wisely the mouse decided
to run, discretion the better part of valor.