Everything of summer slips smooth into its grave,
but after a hard frost
we winter things move still: we limp grimly down
to check our traps along the creek.
Oh my dear
you are ugly like the ugliness of winter;
shatter-iced; broken like a windshield. You are fat
as a she-bear, glutted with huckleberries,
when the sun slants at four. You are old as
those knobbly inconvenient hills, bruising
to the knees and hips; you have tarnished
the cold blue of long-neglected silver, and
you are as fierce and deft as any cruel hawk.
You must have a body of winter
to fuck with the gods: their secret ink flows only
when rough parchment rubs against the nib.