Winter stands in the corner of my garden,

Rounds her shoulders, tucks her chin, draws tight her cloak of stars and ice,

Razor moon and rain. Spare and erect, gaunt in the darkness,

Bark-peeling with moss predation, slick and black she nods,

She waits, she leans,

The sky shows her jewelry, vents its wet moods. Death litters

The paths with bones and brown rags. Secret life skulks then like a thief:

She finds mushrooms between her toes, grows green and furry slippers.

Long, long.

Until one day the clearwashed air grows sweet and yellow

With acacia, and her memory stirs with the taste

Of a near-forgotten lover’s scent, feels again the warmth of his regard,

And she stretches,

Stretches to find him again,

Turning up her daffodil face.

                                                                                —Mark Green


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