Winter Rose

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Winter Rose

These uncertain smiles
Drawn over frosted jackets
Revealing red lips

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North Wind

North Wind

Winter
Winter

She started as snowflakes whipped from the top of the year’s deepest snow, an effervescent twinkling of purest white. I knew her a child of the North wind, for her slow materialisation from a loose collection of white dustings to an image of porcelain perfection that nipped at my cheeks and numbed my fingers, confirmed it. If that nymph of the season knew I watched, I couldn’t have said, but I did. In frozen fascination, I observed her coalescence in the stark breeze from vague to almost to queen. She spun like a figurine released from a winter musical box, her seasonal tinkling emitting a cool radiance that chilled my spine with sheer joy. I shivered under her spell disrupting the first flutterings of a new snowfall; she saw me.
Her ice-blue eyes fixed upon my green in a moment of recollection, as if knowing me there but unaware of my status, whether man or beast, or broken mirror? She slid to a standstill, her cape of snowflakes spiralling to gradual non-motion, and then bowed in my direction. So startled was I that I looked around like a nervous child until sure it was me she appraised. In an iced panic, I bowed deep in return as if standing before a winter goddess; her blizzard breath upon my nape suggested she’d approached. I trembled. I shook.
When I dared to raise my eyes, she’d gone, although I thought I spied a twin flash of distant blue; it could have been arctic lakes capturing sunbursts. North Wind, as I came to call her, had breezed away to other climes of equal sub-zero degrees, gone to sample snowflakes and lick ice crystals from the air. I was left alone colder than ever.
I felt no warmth on my return home. In fact, I stamped out the fire in frigid dismay and dabbed snow to my forehead as succour. Nothing helped. Not until I staggered into my garden and glanced in the frozen stream that constituted its perimeter did I realise my skin to be blue and my eyes bluer. I was hers. I was lost. Good.

The Winter Tree

"They say its petals fall to remind us of winters past."
"I don't want to remember them."
"No?"
"No. What's so special about winter, anyway?"
"Its beauty."
"Petals are more beautiful than snow."
"Are they?"
"Snow's cold."
"And if the petals fell early whilst winter still nipped at your cheeks? How would you know the difference?"
"I'm not sure."
"You wouldn't. This is how it is to stand beneath the Winter Tree whose petals tumble as constant snow."
"The Winter Tree does sound magical, I suppose."
"More so with age, my young friend. More so with age."