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  • Okay, Winter, I know your game

    your dark and strange ways

    your cool aloofness

    your sharp piercing:

    A friend's father has vanished into the impenetrable mists of Alzheimer's.

    A friend dropped dead--boom--just like that.

    A friend is sick sick with a chronic, debilitating disease.

    A friend's teenaged daughter is pregnant.

    A young friend is being buffeted about by pain and hopelessness.

    Winter, I see you take aim

  • at my heart.

    And for a moment I'm tempted to give in

    stand there dumb and unmoving

    surrender to your spare elegance

    your nordic good looks

    your quiet enticements

    the sudden shock of you

  • I hear you

    I hear you whispering in the trees

    in the owl's hushed voice

    who will ever know

    you send the poets

    you send Joyce with his sonorous falling rhythms of snow

    you know I'm a sucker for the poets

  • But then there's this

    absurd and fleeting

    glimpse

    this tickle

    this laugh

    a chickadee lands on my shoe

    a cardinal plays peek-a-boo

    in the lilac

    as I stand on the doorstep

  • And later, as I stand in the warm kitchen

    wielding my knife over the blood red marble

    the garlic opens

    clove by clove

    to offer

    secrets

    sprouting green.

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