Solstice — Maureen Fry

Wind bites, sucks my breath. I make my way
over barren fields crusted with ice, snow
bones buried deep in the furrows,
a maelstrom of leaves in the sky’s gray
paw. To the woods: silent, still. As day
shifts to monochrome, shadow on shadow,
I lose myself; the world’s mad spinning slows.
At the frozen creek, the sun’s last rays
fall keening through the trees. Now, a spark
of white, movement—a dying buck. Crown
of antlers, wild staring eye; overhead,
a red-tail screaming. At this dark
year’s long end, I slip into my nightgown
and wait for the turn, cold in my bed.