Winter

Winter meant no harm last Sunday night
when she stormed into our little town.
She was just having one of her days.

She misses her luminous friend, who
moved away suddenly, mumbling
about a long South American vacation.

Friendless and lonely, there is no telling what
she’ll do this time of year.

Sometimes her tears freeze on descent, then pile up
like great pillows of sorrow, or she howls away the
night until the house creaks, joints aching from the cold.

Winter forces us inside, next to the fire—
the sun’s small ember—who whispers
urgently: “We just have to wait her out.”

The warm room stills our passion for movement,
quiets the mind so, at the moment sleep begins, we
hear a lone snowflake descending, finally able to
decode the mystery of its fragile message.

Michael James Fitzgerald

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