What we uttered in the climax of summer,
in the ignorance of mid-August—
haughtiness, sensual love—has been erased;
our garden’s lyric made virginal by snowfall,
by a white so conscious of what it bears
we fear our own unconscious sense of it.
But knowing how winter emulates the truth—
that digging out after a heavy snowfall
affects those qualities nature most opposes
—pride, willfullness, transcendence—
we pick up our shovels, a red scarf ablaze
at our throats, and having redefined
our winter existence, at least temporarily,
hurry back along the path, shivering, exhausted,
to stand, fretting at a window, looking out,
imagining the splendor of an early thaw;
and warmed by our desires’ inchoate heat,
our eyes anticipate the inevitable budding,
spring’s twin revelations—the peach tree, the plum,
replenished at last, shred by living shred.
One, the improvised blessing of what we intend.
The other, a presence only, a sensation,
a metaphor the world insists on concealing.