Volume 1 Number 1
Spring 2006

 

Solstice

Laurel Winter

Winter wraps a cold bracelet around my wrist,
reminds me I inhabit a goose-pimple skin.
Sun fractures on snowflakes and spills
its tiny furnace into my dazzled eyes.
I breathe smoke,
my lungs’ offering to the shortest day of the year.

This little-fist sun has no warmth to share,
but we learned to celebrate solstice in fjord-splintered mountains.
Even the gods dress warm in Norway.
And if someone saw the face of Mary on an apple—
well, if it was still sweet and not too wrinkled,
Eve and virgin and serpent whisper would make a nice lunch.
The pragmatic appetites of Norsemen will not waste a miracle.

The new clothes the new god wraps around an old holy day—
certainly we will rejoice.
Light is light, whatever sun it comes from.
Angels of all sorts walk among us,
with wool socks to prevent frostbite.

Heart, send blood to my tingling fingers and toes.
We will dance in circles on this slippery ground, carefully,
so as not to fall.
Such caution masquerades as solemnity,
but we are the wild children of winter, dancing as fast as we dare.
Loki has taught us ice manners and mocks us with our own desire.
Misteltoe tempts our chapped lips with kisses.
In this darkest day, heat will do, if there is no light.