Winter

ELAINE PETTUS


Nude northern oaks shivered

silently as padded people uttered

cloud-coated breaths to no one

Snow fastened to the ground

Time lay dormant under the crunch of a footstep

as new snow lay on old

neither caring—they had already done their work

 

Inside ice-spiculed windows

the colorful quilt inhales and exhales

in cadence to the heated exchange below

Whole villages of tiny, hand-embroidered houses

 

with white picket fences hugged by daffodils and daisies

hover close to his broad, glistening shoulders

Carefree corpuscles of each quilted square

expand and contract on cue

 

to the ins and outs

of careless breaths and reckless heartbeats

Drunken bumblebees teetertotter as lavender lilacs

swell and shrink, and swell, with his every up and down

She fastened to the bed

neither caring—that time lay dormant under the crunch

of a footstep—or that new snow had fallen.

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