We have hiked out to the barn to fetch
the Christmas decorations. We keep
them up in the loft with the lawn chairs
we put out in summer and the hoses we
roll up and store for next year's watering.
Craggy trees, barren of leaves, wear piles
of snow where ever they can. Nothing
has ever looked so cold. The evergreens
are all bent down like old nuns in prayer.
The dogs like to dig tunnels under stands
of them so they can run on dry ground
and poop without freezing their tails off.
Except for the barn, trees and snow are
all the eye can see. The sky has taken
the look of snow. It is overcast, not gray
but certainly off-white. One thinks of life
on Iceland, what penguins might feel
the first day they migrate back to the shores
of Antarctica. One thinks of one's hooded
parka as a space suit, and pretends to be
walking on an icy moon in a galaxy far far
away. Almost at once we are at the North
Pole pulling down all the red sleigh bells,
the brightly painted ornaments that will
remind us there is more to life than living
on the frozen side of the snow forest.
We lug the aurora borwealis up to the house.