The Great Frost

by Marly Youmans

Now comes her winter, when the roads are choked
With snow and all the staring ways go blind.
Though she’s no bird, the tower points upward
From sheets of windswept ice—below, the fish
And monster hang suspended in the lake.
At cold distance, the villagers are glimpsed,
Each as alone as she, each rampart-walled
With battlements of January snow…
The rainy season seems so long away,
And now with song she tries to shatter floes
That pour from roofs and seal against the ground
Until no portals open to the world.

Her words mean violence to the glacial town,
And craze with hairline faults the spill of glass
That helmets home, makes stirring treacherous.
She bends to creation despite a hush
That sinks inside the blue titanic dusk.

The fool! The village idiot! No tears,
She cries no silly tears. Poor vernal loon,
Her children lie exposed upon the hill,
And still she keeps on singing as if soon
Those jailed in crystal will break into song.


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