There should be hope in the leaves’ first turning—
summer green fringed red and yellow, webbed
hands reaching out against the curtain’s blue.
Winter and what it takes from the heart
is almost worth it. Year by blessed year,
in the shortened days, something is stolen
that cannot be reclaimed—a swelling in the chest
when night comes soon. At a certain age
a man takes a season’s beginnings, the small
beauties—frozen rings on creek rocks,
the first skein of ice in the horse trough.
He holds it to the morning sun and it burns
his palm as it drips through his fingers.
Each year he grips it tighter to see
his face melt in the fire.
Copyright (c) 2010 by Bill Brown. All rights reserved.