Underfoot snow, colder than stars
and brighter. The last sounds sink
without echo. In sixteen hours
of night, night lit strangely
like heaven, even time has a shadow,
even breath must leave as smoke
a trailing skein of warmth.
To freeze could mean solitude,
to drift into sleep alone and at peace,
or to stay awake watching the slow descent
of stars into the earth. Whose arms stay
outstretched in gratitude, whose birches
in dingy stripes root the horizon? So wide
the sky you could fall into.


Winter trees by Bryan Hansel