The meadow holds her breath this morning—

Exhaling nothing.

Even the grass frozen

As she lies mute and bound

The rounded hills of her chest tight with life restrained

With cries she dares not sound.


A captive, petrified in the steely chains of Winter,

Waiting for the summer sun or even its paler solstice twin

To heat her bonds and melt her free.

Every tree and every bush and every blade of grass strains upwards to attention—

The eager antennae of her body alert, alive within their icy sheaths.

Silent. Still. Straining every sense to hear—

All of her frozen

Immobilized with fear—

Dreading the return of Winter’s cruel grasp.


Only the rush of rivulets swollen from recent rains

Run like blood thrumming through her veins

Each one racing to the sea,

Carrying particulates of self and soil

A trail of vital fluid to lead the lost steelhead home.


As if in answer to her heart’s blood’s call

A blanket of silver fog rolls upwards

Shielding her shoulders

Exhaling warmth from her wandering lover, the sea.

Muffling even the pulsing of the stream.


In the cottoned silence,

My black dog throws up a drum roll of black birds

From amongst the stiff, unmoving grass.

And the sound shatters silence

Like a rock shatters glass.