December, Not Yet Solstice

By Trudy Stern

Now crystal rain stings our cheeks.

Our eyes are slits

against the winds

that freeze our tears.

Some day sun will melt

this rock hard river

pressing up against its banks.

Spring will surely come again.

But today the bear of winter rolls

itself toward darkest night

prepared to wait, and sleep

and shiver till the end of cold.

For now, though,

empty pods of lavender

are trembling

over crusty shells of snow.

TRUDY STERN will join fellow poets Stephen Paskey and Marek Parker in this month’s Just Buffalo Literary Café at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Inquiry, 1310 Sweet Home Road in Amherst. She was the host of the Tea Leaves Reading Series from 2002 to 2007, and with her husband, artist Michael Morgulis, she has designed and published poetry broadsides and portfolios for Just Buffalo and other organizations for nearly 40 years. This poem is from “Taurus in Lake Erie,” her new chapbook published by Saddle Road Press.