Relearning Winter

Hello Winter, hello flanneled
blanket of clouds, clouds
fueled by more clouds, hello again.

Hello afternoons,
off to the west, that silver
of sunset, rust-colored
and gone too soon.

And night (I admit to a short memory)
you climb back in with chilly fingers
and clocks, and there is no refusal:
ice cracks the water main, the garden hose
stiffens, the bladed leaves of the rhododendron
shine in the fog of a huge moon.

And rain, street lacquer,
oily puddles and spinning rubber,
mist of angels on the head of a pin,
hello,

and snow, upside-down cake of clouds,
white, freon scent, you build
even as you empty the world of texture-
hello to this new relief,
this new solitude now upon us,
upon which we feed.

by Mark Svenvold

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