Caged by short days of cold and foreshortened shadows,
you see a hardened, desiccated season of barren
tree limbs and a garden of dried khaki plant stems
whose papery rustle sounds like summer’s insects.
Memories of campanula, helenium, columbine,
achillea, foxglove and aster are the cordwood
that warms you, weapons keeping frost at bay.
I prize winter’s flowers, fragile and delicate,
blooming at roadside rock-cuts. Frozen waterfalls,
hanging tusks and soda straws, cauliflower mounds
and scallop shells glow like moonbeams, veins
beneath pale winter skin, or translucent tourmalines
in rust, green and pink. Reflecting and refracting
the slightest light, they magnify a weakened sun.