Jesus is the reason for the season
Proclaims my neighbor's bow-wrapped door,
Getting it exactly backward again this year,
The winter solstice only weeks away:
Opaque slate skies, a daylong dusk in the drybrush
Of branches blurring in the woods.
Do you worship God or animals? asks a sticker
From the back of his pickup truck.
Cotton Mather, could he look down
From the tomb of heaven, would be pleased
By the granite sky, the cold Old Testament comfort
Of the faith, and by the faithful,
Hunkered down and ready for the rapture.
Winter nights enlarge the number of their hours
Wrote a poet with the name of a wildflower—
Of the White Campion, which blooms at night,
And the Starry, petals ascending on slender spines—
The sky filling the frame with its constellations,
The tiny novas flaming like bits of tungsten,
And here below, if the air is dry enough and cold,
There's that taste of metal that comes with snow.
Bare limbs and briars, the crosiers of weeds
Burred with their small spurred seeds.