Winter, this muteness

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.


Sandy Longhorn
from Blood Almanac