The days are getting longer. The evenings are briefer, and lighter. Just a month or so ago, I was met by a shocking moon each night when I left the office, a soot-soft sky and a million stars as bright as fire. Now when I leave, as if it happened overnight, the sky is a lovely royal blue, and the moon and the stars as faint as echoes.
I keep writing about Winter. It's an attempt to keep her, I think. I miss her already, and she hasn't even left yet. I can feel her gathering up her things - her frozen-over ponds and her frosts and her stark, glittering trees; she stands in the open doorway, ready to go, and I catch at her coat-tails, pull at her sleeve.
Listen, I tell myself. You love the Spring. The bluebells shy as girls at a dance. The lambs on trembling legs in the fields. And there is truth in this. But all year long, Winter will take up a place in my heart, curled, quiet and sleeping, like a fox with is brush on its paws.
I don't usually post my own poems on here. Most journals will ask that any poems sent for consideration are previously unpublished, including on blogs and personal websites. But this one seemed appropriate today.
The fox stops dead on the dark ice.
Equally frozen. Both ears pricked. Her
eyes blaze on like lights, go dim again as she snaps
her narrow head to cast a black look
at some imagined noise. The duck
carcass gleams in her sights, a lucky
prize she'll sneak back, the warm vise
of her mother-mouth clamped on our oily scraps -
six cubs mewling for a skinflint meal will feast
tonight! Off she takes at a level trot.
Quicker now, light as snow on her quick feet.
The sealed pond is printless, complicit.
Tomorrow, only a hint of grease will last.
And a faint animal scent the dogs will browse,
thrilled, flared-nostrilled, quivering in the grass.