The Hibernation

The Hibernation

Anna Lindsay

Numbness narcotised while I was unaware.

I knew the cold was coming,
watched winter take you, breath
by icy breath, into its lair,
and saw you, grateful, sink without despair
into its one-way care.

I felt I could fend off the cold,
and thought I was prepared
for icicles to sting before the spring—
never realising I was already pinned,
hunkering in hibernation, soul-systems stalled,
sensation numbed, heartbeats dulled
to torpor through the years.

I thought the cold was distant, well-controlled,
’til light’s frail tendril found its way
into my darkened den. Now I comprehend
that grieving sleep was after all obeyed:
that what I’d dreamt was waking
had simply been heart’s faking:
snow-cold, breath hold, hurt-souled… 

But now a new year calls, thaw’s set, and I
awake from slumber’s thralls.
Winter’s melting: spring strokes my hair.

Anna Lindsay

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