When climate change was yet chained, the frozen landscape
changelessly towered, a white fortress on the prairie.
We played to defy winter, shoveling into huge snowdrifts,
hollowing cold rooms--in which I can still sit
in the timeless portion of my mind.
Hardened snow banks are like rocks buffeting farm buildings:
by us transfigured into our medieval burgh,
its heavy doors opening to peasants—neighbor kids
tunneling for shelter from cold wind in our castle’s labyrinth
of rooms. Their shadows ripple on my skin,
thoughts of time’s lodgers.
In its kingdom, winter rules until spring breezily challenges
with a ruckus of black birds swarming expectant trees.
Robins watch for widening slots in cold’s receding walls.
Less an icy regal voice, in fly barn pigeons, mocking jesters
leaving dirt upon the quiet straw.
Mary Belardi Erickson, Minnesota, USA