And now, a poem! What if winter was a dragon?

For the space of many days,

We hold our collective and metaphorical breath,

Waiting,

Watching,

Listening,

As temperatures edge higher and fall again,

In this slow change of season.

Smooth undulation of the crystalline white sea

Sinking lower around islands of standing trees;

Ripples of slick ice that once reflected the sun

Made dirty and thickened by matter released in the thaw;

Translucent stalactites made heavy over months

Fall with soft thumps into rounded snowbanks

Their own bulk carved in half, and pebbled interiors exposed,

Sleeping giants seeping back into the earth.

Could winter be a dragon? One with freezing breath,

Glistening scales both tough and delicate

As the icicles that form on the eaves in the night,

After the vernal warmth has faded.

A sleek and deadly creature, whose claws dig into ice,

Whose wings whip the wind into a frenzy

And silence the birds with the snaps of a mighty tail.

Even dragons grow weary, become bored, journey away.

They eat their fill and crawl home to their burrows

or mountain caves.

Winter Dragon, creature of midnight stillness,

Who crept about under a diamond veil,

Amused at the scurryings of small warm-blooded creatures,

He curls his tail around rocky outcrops and spreading lower branches,

Tents his wings over ravines and hummocks,

Glaring his piercing blue eyes at the approaching golden warrior

whose gleaming shield sweeps away the white remnants of his breath.

He knows the territory he has claimed must be relinquished.

He huffs frosty breaths at the injustice, hooking his claws into frozen ground.

But after six months of power, he has little strength left to fight

And the golden light dims even the dragon’s lustrous glow.

We wait

And we watch

And we listen

For signs of the battle in the rising wind and buffeting storms.

We wait

And we watch

And we listen

For signs that the dragon’s spell has been broken.

We wait

And we watch

And we listen.

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