Bellwether

 

A sudden thaw arrived in late December —  lasted

upwards of a week.  The coloured lights in windows,

 

hung from eaves, and strung round yard-art sleighs

and reindeer gave our fog-filled street the cheerful

 

kind of menace found in nursery rhymes and fairy

tales, old literary nonsense books — anatomies

 

of dreams. Since then we’ve had outrageous weather —

gale force squalls and whiteouts, set new wind chill

 

records. For two months straight we’ve nested

in our heads, worn heavy socks and sweaters —

 

the snowpack on the ground a kind of mythic

presence. Today a red-plumed bird on our big

 

backyard maple — a valentine to see us through

to spring. Old heart, the cold won’t last forever.