A poem for January 7

Barn-in-snow-with-birds
Photograph by Cara Walton, Cara Walton Photography

the earth

these days

is iron hard,

roots locked

in a chrysalis

of churned mud.

frozen to jagged froth,

it breaks beneath boots

with the crunch of bones grinding.

beneath frostbitten fingers of clasping limbs,

tangled in blackberry briars blown barren,

drifted deep against dark boles

in the flotsam of frost

the old question waits,

a leviathan suspended

in gelatinous dreams—

what if this time

the weary sun

averts her face

and never

returns?