Snow cautions me. From the car, a short walk down the road
Brings soundless walls of white, memories of pink carnations fleet petaled only.
Pampered quiet, nourished by the freezing body of a lost pet lying long.
Patience until the day the sun will open its heart and free the earth for him,
before his fur finds fault with its black sack coffin.
Why did I lose you in the February stopping time?
We met first on a warmer day, your gaze unaccepting.
Then talk turned to cheese. They said, the mean man and the nice woman,
That cheese would corrupt you. Rusty door opens on the old station wagon and you accepted my intrigue, the promise of a life with cheese and me.
Now the white confounds my sight of you, a mounded mass of snow protects you.
I suppose but I must face the thaw.
They say in West Virginia in the winter that bodies waited in the sheds, becalmed by snow.
Their faces in their coffins twice stilled, once by easy death and stilled again by nature’s tempered lack of empathy for dying’s debut.
Who stacks the dead in the sheds? Do the families check their frozen progress?
Whose momentary shudder of proper placement gave them stationary solemnity?
The warmth of unexpected thaw unnerves me.
I am not ready to brave the touch of the roundness now collapsed that made you.
Shovel bound, I will break down the ground that holds its own against you.
With spring will come seclusion.