A quiet pause here,
between two struggling worlds:
the mountain hidden behind
coarse-plastered walls of cloud,
the river obscured by fog, even
the freeway muted and cottoned and quiet.
Only the crows break through.
The trees tangle
their fingers in strands of cloud
in vain: they're too weak
to pull down the sky.
We are all at a standoff, and as we listen
to the sough of tires on asphalt
we wonder: when he comes at last,
whose side will the new year take?