Ode to Winter

Winter is a corpse picked clean,
doe’s ribcage the vultures preened,
mother nature’s ghost seen from the
corner of my eye.

Leaves like post-firework ash,
dirt like old coffee grounds, molding.
Afternoon walks when afternoons can pass
as mornings and the clocks’ hands are
compass needles. I check the time, it says
“you are here.”

I come upon an oak leaf with a hole
in the center, the way a human heart can
eat through to the outside.

I come upon a sycamore ball,
child’s plaything, fossilized dandelion clock.
A wish browning like fruit
and frozen to its stem.

I feel the cold work its way into my clothes,
cunning and transparent as a man’s touch.
Trees like the earth’s bones showing through her skin,
the dirt rejects the seed.

Note a dull aching in the womb.
I am a child returning to the russet guts
from which I came.

Like my childhood bed,
left cold and crisp from time away
but still familiar.