by Laurel Nakai
The darkness came first.
Descended like a curtain, slowly, day by day,
we had to turn our lights on to eat dinner.
We went to bed with slippers,
thinking we could trap the warmth,
ration it for the days ahead.
The winds snapped frigid branches and thoughts
bitter and broken
on the shivering earth.
The winter’s wrath is the impenetrable depression,
and soon we were buried.
A layer of ice lies between
the ground and fresh powder.
There was life here once...
Water soaking into soil
sprouting stems and grass
leaves and petals
hope and apathy.
The ice covers all our happy memories.
Desperate longing for something just out of reach.
I can see them if I brush away the snow--fingers
stinging with cold and spite
I can see them, through
the same place where Spring began
All my shovels are broken
the salt pail empty.
There is no chipping away.
only waitingonly believing, in the languid thaw.