Winter Woman

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(Photo Iren Schio)


I am searching for her coat

made of mink tails

and bearskins –

for live animals to hold

me close

as I drift deep

into winter dreaming…


Snow will fall on the mesa

one still morning,

gray clouds streaming

across the sky

softening red stone

inking ochre shadows.


The river is in retreat

turning opaque sea green.

The beach appears

and stories are gathered and

written into the sand

by those who love Her.


A solitary egret stands watch

on the edge of a jagged cliff

peering with one golden eye

into rippling rapids

patiently stalking a fish,

the wind his sail.


The sun is still warm,

and velvet night wraps me

in her starry cloak

even as the Great Bear rises

her tail tipping the horizon.

Venus will soon rise out

of a scarlet winter dawn.

I mourn, and pray

for sleep to come…


Working notes:


I am at a loss to understand how my poor body can continue without uninterrupted sleep for seven weeks…I am always tired, yet hyper alert in my exhaustion to the slightest sound. Where is Winter Woman who directs the flow of sleep with her longer nights and slower rhythms as the sky stands still? How I long for her sweet presence to bring peace and slumber to this animal woman deprived of the joy of waking ready to give thanks for another day.

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