The wall of cold descends
Near the end of our annual solstice party
as guests were rummaging through the pile
for their coats and hugging many goodbyes
the very first snow of the year began
to eddy down in big flat flakes.
It was cold enough to stick, with the grass
poking through and then buried.
Now the ground gives it back
under the low ruddy sun that sits
on the boughs of the pine like a fox
if red foxes could climb. The cats
crowd the windows for its touch.
The Wolf Moon seemed bigger than
the sun, almost brighter as last night
it turned the snow ghostly.
Now it too wanes. The nub end
of the year when all northern
cultures celebrate fire and light.
Tonight we'll take the first two candles
to kindle one from the other.