Love in the Time of Cold

by Laura Potts

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors;
before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds,
we ask that through the Christmas mist and bells that bring December in
you pause and long-remember this: ever through the blizzard lives

the hospice on the hill, sleeping in the heart of dark beneath the stars
and still. How the leaping garden laughs; how that wind will never gasp away
the ashes of our past that live until the last; how those staff with candle-eyes
will guard our sleepers through the night. And as the nurses lull the light

the sentry sets above and bright-as-life upon the skies: ever does that crust
of moon push a light into those rooms, and pull away the dusk and gloom.
Oh how soon the seasons turn, and how the folk will come and go and once
will leave to not return, and how that tree will never know defeat against

the snow. Know only that the flowers grow and show their Sunday best,
and bow towards that sleeping house, and death is that much less.