The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
Winter is calling;
it calls my name and number repeatedly,
although I won't answer, will not succumb
to the temptation to see what it wants from me.
I don't like the cold, haven't since I was a child,
before injuries caused me to detest its inevitable coming
when I least expect its arrival, even though the calendar
screams to be aware of season's passing.
It's like a conscious form of amnesia,
of wanting to forget how bright white looks, untouched.
I do enjoy the unpacking of sweaters,
lavender-scented for 9 months, a gestation of fragrance
waiting to be borne, the bold and comforting smells
of a well-built fire, of homemade stew simmering on the stove;
these things are not available to me in summer;
crispy crunching sounds dwell outside
when I am curled inside, quiet and warm.
It keeps howling for me to answer, the insistent wretch.
I won't, I swear I won't. There will be no surrendering here.
My bones won't allow its presence near - they moan and mutter,
cursing its very existence, its dubious necessities.
Winter redials my extension without reprieve;
it only gains access to my voice mail
and leaves no message for me to return,
only a dull, blank near-silence;
I can hear chill winds swirl their tightening spirals
in the background, leaves perishing alone in the lane.
I am sitting softly on my nest, keeping chrysalis eggs warm,
waiting for butterflies to unfurl their wings
as spring opens the door to this haven, this sanctuary.
I have nascent buds to attend to. I do not have patience
or time enough for the vagaries of winter, its incessant demands.
There are no angels laying in the snow,
only arm-swept, icy hollows without promise.
I do not need to see my frosted breath
to feel my ribs heave, to feel my heart swell.