The icy lake lies deep and dark, a secret
mysterious prison. Descending fingers of ice from tree branches, forming lacy shadow-patterns on snow as the cold
winter sun breaks weakly through gray
clouds, point to the white-encrusted ,
landscape. Winter holds life encased
in its icy breath, the frigid air keeps
silent vigil over nature.

Frosty flakes burst from formless
clouds, gray darkness covers the lake,
the trees. Whistling north wind and creaking
complaint of the giant spruce wipe
away sun, lace, anticipation. Ruffed-feathered
birds and tail-curled squirrels wait out
the storm in sleepy quiet. Winter’s icy breath
being sovereign, the earth lies
cold, and dark, and waiting.

Jewel-sparkling snow in
sun-lighted morning, frost-painted
patterns on windowpanes, icicles
dripping from tree branches, cheery
“dee-dee” of the chickadee and harsh
call of the blue jay, tail-flit of
the saucy gray squirrel stealing seeds from
the bird feeder–hope is released from
icy encasement, life awakens
and breaks free!