I’m not used to snow covering everything—the
soil, my sleeves, the underbrush filling these woods.
But really, I’m not used to snow at all. Ting-bong! Bells are
ringing in the distance, their measured chimes a lovely
lullaby for easing cordial sun-light to smooth moon-dark.
I add my own melody to the soundtrack, whistling and
snapping chilled fingers as my sneakers crunch-sink deep
into the snow; this makes me less alone somehow. But
then a flash of scarlet captures my attention and I
follow the course of a cardinal fluttering past. Have
I missed other hints of winter’s palette cracking, promises
of togetherness, unspoken shared experience? I pause to
consider what the white is hiding, the copse exhaling. I keep
to the narrow trail, seeking such need-to-be-found things. And
that is when I discover (yards that seem like miles
above the ground) a passel of letters in twine, a lean-to
of secrets and desires with nowhere else to go.
And I—with nothing left to lose—place one foot before
the other, clamber upward inch by inch, anticipate the comfort I
will find in someone else’s dreams when I drop my head to sleep.