I’m old enough to believe in the cold,
Old enough that the snow does not surprise me,
But I hear the wonder in their eyes,
Surprise in toes that feel like broken glass.
I pull out sweaters when the calendar declares
The time is near
Because I know this time comes faster every year.
All the mystery has drained away,
Like the bottom of a bath,
Hair-curling dregs going past.
We pretend that we are masters with Climate Control,
But year after year,
Rain means mud, snow means shoveling.
We are puppets of the seasons,
Made to dance to the back of the closet,
Made to dance in boots.
And in the ritual exchanging of flip flops for sweaters,
We are prisoners,
Wrapped in, kept in, held like a beloved in
The patterns of our years.