Close to the end of the year the cold breaks, and we see a winter bee come out to clear the hive. One small hum is cupped to our ear against the wooden box, and all around us is the descending dark, always the day settling toward the early evening colors. A bee is still a golden creature even in this brief flight, wrapped in winter’s dimmest light, even as we see it leave our fading sight.
One Winter Morning
She sees the winter bluebirds, only she does, in the cold February morning against the new landscape the blizzard has made, and here’s the boy who helps the old dog where she cannot climb the steep snowbank—unbinds his skis and lifts her to where she’s safe and can walk, and I, their mother, see the fox’s trail on the snowpack that curves over the stream that freezes and runs beneath and notice how neither has an end.
Narrow fox trail and glimpse of white-tail and only hawk and crow: no songbird near. Flakes of snow that flutter, fall, collect in one fine layer on hill and gully, not much wind. White sky and bits of whiteness in the air and smoke from chimney—turning gray to white as it rises. Cold only where I am uncovered, just the glimpse of skin on brow and chin and cheeks where lines are set, are trails to follow, that settle, stay there, fine and narrow.
The two young dogs chase a white butterfly across the new plowed field brown and stony, and the two girls by the pond are surrounded by the frogs—spring peepers calling to each other, singing back and forth, and the flower petals on the cherry trees are dropping, the bees gone to find others blooming, and there is no use in considering when sometimes memory will come again—a bright dome over it all, so that this is no longer forgotten, with dandelions bright yellow in the grass and another white butterfly taking the two young dogs away and the two girls by the pond surrounded.
Gigi Marks lives and writes near the western edge of Cayuga Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her most recent collection of poems, Close By, was published by Silverfish Review Press in 2012, and a new collection, Territory, is forthcoming from Silverfish Review Press.
Header photo of light rays through trees in winter landscape by cocoparisienne, courtesy Pixabay.