Selma

Selma appeared again today,
like a Spring immigrant
seeking shelter in my frozen arms.

The years tumbled down
a gyroscope of
might have beens.

***
The last time

The river was in spate,
rain falling on the mountains
where winter was
already clawing chalk grey faces.

In the valley
the windblown grass
was still green
and ice teased only
in the tremor of an inland breeze.

The stoic sea
still held the sigh and scent of summer

We walked the mile
from bridge to bridge,
I in shirt and working jeans
she in a hooded parka
with the pelt of some synthetic animal
cushioning chin and cheeks

She spoke of leaving.

Ice was felt keener
in the sudden sharp intake
of emptiness

On the leaf strewn water,
snowbirds gathered,
they too felt the bite of ice.

Their wings beat
a poem of going home
to white out blizzards
on the frozen tundra.

I am tidal
clinging like a mollusc
to the scent and taste of salt.

Tears sink easily
in the depths of ocean trenches

***
Now

Winter is worn into her lined face
where beauty has been engraved
in the deep ravines about a kissable mouth
and wise blue eyes.

Frost has left his breath on braids
in sun struck strands of silver.
Her forehead is a map
of desert roads and younger rivers.

We walk the mile again
Snowbirds are returning
Landing like fresh carved galleons,
their rhyme is now
of cherry blossom time
and procreation

We talk of only now.

What might have been
was lost in the frost
of winter’s past

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