We lingered into summer

The trees burned green

Heady breezes blowing off the meadows

Grasses stirring, parting, whispering as we walked

Sunlight gleamed upon the water

Dappling the leaves and casting shadows on the moss

We wandered along streams, slipping on the wet, dark stones

And swam in hidden pools

Deer grazed warily in the emerald glades

Their backs brown and russet in the lazy sunbeams

From behind the silver trunks of ash we watched

And you smiled, content to gaze for hours

Moonlight spilled across the hills and low valleys

A promise we could not resist

The grass turned into a star-washed sea

As we lost ourselves to the night and each other

We lingered into summer

But summer fled too soon to autumn

Golden sunlight catching in the leaves

A crown of fire binding the land to change

The nights grew teeth

And the moon burned cold

Frost a herald of what was to come

We lay huddled beneath the sky, seeking heat, not love

Autumn died in a gust of wind

Leaves riding wild on winter's breath before drifting to the earth

Geese broke the silence of the night, the crickets having passed

And their cries echoed our need to be gone

Ice formed at night on the edges of the streams

The leaves dead and brittle beneath our feet

You stared off into the cold morning

And its pale light stripped summer from your smile

Silence fell upon the barren trees

Branches stark and black against the iron sky

The sun weakened, giving way to night

I watched you fade with daylight

We had lingered, but those who linger die in winter

I lost you in the raw beauty of the north

You were a thing of summer

I wrapped my love around you in a mockery of sunlight

Snow fell upon the meadows and the forests

Ice locked the streams in stillness

I followed your shadow as it flickered in and out of winter

The lonely howl of wind echoed in my haunted soul

I held your memory in trembling hands

Breathing life into you as you slept

The sun dipped into death, then made its slow return

I shielded you from winter's violent triumph, and let slip a tear

The geese returned and the smell of spring seeped into my being

Slowly, inexorably, winter gave way to warmth

In the glow of morning I placed you on the earth

And kissed you, breathing in the taste of summer

We did not linger into spring

The sap rose in the trees, and snow drops wreathed your face

Summer claimed us, and again we drank the moonlight