This brief day is unsteady on frozen feet
that slip-slide on February’s black ice
toward massive double doors yet unopened,
past bleak, ghostly birches superintending
flowerbeds, the decayed, frozen annual dead,
cemetery of flora whose obituaries no one writes.
I see your face half-hidden by your knit scarf,
a warm half-smile I think, no longer distant rictus
I cannot read. My gloved hand, as if by gravity pulled,
reaches for your woolen mitten, your hand,
my glove linked to your mitten, tentative docking
of once remote bodies without orbit.
We tread carefully toward the doors, achieving
in bleak winter what our bare hands, our unconfined
fingers, our naked bodies could not consummate
in a summer planned for happiness and peak memories.
Now winter steps in, promising what eluded summer
as we approach the broad oaken doors guarded by birches.
G. Louis Heath, Ph.D. Berkeley, teaches at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. His books include Mutiny Does Not Happen Lightly, Long Dark River Casino and Vandals In The Bomb Factory. His most recently published poems appeared February 2016 in Writing Raw and Poppy Road Review.