January Chill

You can see it. In the infinite blue of cloudless skies, and the endless stretch of the barren trees straight, slatey shadows. It shows on the buff, snowless ground as a tease of frost that lingers only in small spots of shade. It appears in the forlorn droop of the rhododendrons, their leaves curled tight into tiny scrolls, safekeeping the secret of summer. And on the maple and aspen leaves, long fallen, that have gone wan and brittle in its presence. You can even see it in the sun, whose light is pale and not quite white.

Of course, sometimes you can hear it too, as it arrives, preparing you for what you will feel, later, if you choose to go out into it. Which, ultimately, you must do.

                           Above the windrush
                           porch chimes ring out morning songs--
                           January chill.

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