Winter Times

The winter times are the times
when it's brighter outside.
The sun shines off the white of the snow.
At night the sky is lit up by the street lights
coming back up off the snow.

They're the times when you look up more often
to see the snow deciding whether to come straight at you
or to swerve around you
choosing not to die on your face.

Me and the snow,
the cars and me, choosing.

On the bus you finally have a reason now
to stare blankly out the window
to see the spectacle of the dying snow
blinded before the lights of moving cars.

The times when you need people more.
Family and friends and love are the most important
in these times, without whom you can safely
let your lips, assured that there's nobody
to watch you, crumple up in silent crying.

These times the streets are silent,
resonant of your steps and your breathing.
You listen to the sole noise of your footsteps down the driveway
As you come home to an empty house.

--November 1996