Hold on, a friend says, light will return. Oh, these December days of long dark and little light. In this season — when the heart is heavy, the body chilled — I cling to her refrain.
Too long alone again and words clutter,
hover behind my clenched teeth, my mouth
no longer sure what slight adjustments equal speech.
My tongue is the petal of a tulip touched by front.
My throat, in the next year, will belong to the hawk
or the fat, black garden snake lying dormant
now in the crawlspace beneath the house.
Winter is made of this muteness and these windows
and the long view of white fields through icy glass
where nothing moves and nothing raises its voice.