First hard freeze

Before dawn the dark clenches.
The cold’s brute hammer flattens everything.
The forest floor pulls its leafy grief-strewn grave clothes
up around itself, matted, muted, mattressed,
closes its eye.
Trees are unnaturally still
as if the frost has caught them playing
where they shouldn’t have.
The last garden flowers stand defeated,
heads bowed, blackened, silenced,
the color of regret. My lungs despair.

Then in the sun’s first glance
silver spreads across the frosted lawn,
a wing of diamonds opening.

How would it make me whole to choose
not to love this day
and seek in it always
new kinds of loveliness?


Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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