We could deny our winters, refuse to cut
our hands mining the sharp ores of grief.
Whenever the cold comes, we could follow
the arrowheads of geese shafting south
to an azure place where whales sing offshore
and otters frolic in the wanton surf.
We could grow soft as children in the arms
of leisure, but we might never learn in time
how to stoke the cold fire of the will
in that winter we cannot refuse, when we must glean
from the icy fields the last scattered grains
we once disdained, with only the luminous pallor
of the moon scarfed in clouds to light our way,
rising above the outstretched arms of the trees
in its long slow journey through the night.