These Winter Nights

One gets used to it, the cold,
how brittle things are; how the nights
unfold, blacker than black, the fumes
of us carried off to some softer clime
—and the stars, so close.

One gets used to it, the stars so close
and how paltry it is to wrest
from them some future Spring
when all that huddles on the ridgeline
glistens: small, frail and far.

And on these savage nights
with the stars so close, with a breath
that burns in an air that breaks, I think,
how far I’ve come, how far indeed
to be humbled—how desperately far.

Image: Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Published in The 2River View 26.3, Spring 2022

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