I drive home each day to winter
(he waits for me beneath a mountain)
and each day as I drive I watch (small) gods go by till my eyes turn cold
I see the creeks run brown and heavy, leaves drowning in the froth
I see the grass turn brown as well, a seeping stain across the green
I see the horses in the fields with their coats thickening in the same wind that bares the trees
I see forests full of red and orange fade to pale and naked white
I see their red and orange crowns lying in their roots, squirrels tumbled in them, frantic.
Winter has a beard of permafrost and hair of dead and tangled vines
His eyes are frozen ponds, reeds trapped beneath the ice, his lips small glacial fissures.
When I rest my head against his chest, his heart is still
It only beats in spring, when his pulse quickens and green shoots ring his forehead like an earthy halo.
I call him my Jack Frost, smiling like the princess who fell in love with the polar bear by night in the bitter north
I met winter in Autumn by a mountain lake, while
He was breathing the first storm into the valley.
He took my hand and led me to a palace made of ice and sky
and my car was spun with frost the next morning in the blue
as I drove back down the mountain highway to the city.
That night it snowed as I drove back
driving home again to Winter