A Spell

I will pick up the garbage lids this morning and
twist them like ice cube trays, free an oval of
leaves and water that will split as it hits the stoned driveway.
The cold has been coming and receding for days
but it will stay now. The furred caterpillars
will be recollected and the length of their sweaters
will be appointed as measure of the oncoming depths
of our snow, and one will tell the story of a
youth where the wooly thing was just sweater,
no head, no tail. Bronze. And back inside,
in the morning kitchen, J. will come down
sleep-eyed and rumpled and we will both smell
Listerine on his lips, not mint but the astringent gold
that burns and tastes like iron, but not like blood,
and he will slice himself two pieces of the pumpkin
loaf the aunt mails us each November,
and put too much butter on them. The coffee will
get cold fast and we will sit with our backs to the burning woodstove,
the glint of a cloudless sky kept at just the right distance
outside the frost-threaded windows,
and we will tell each other how cold it is,
how muted things look glazed in ice.

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