Coming out of a Del Dios winter
is like returning from war,
the chill of uninsulated houses
biting the bones,
the spirit has a weariness
which exceeds tract home winter.

I am a hibernating bear stumbling
about the house in Ugg boots,
bundled in stained and faded clothes.
A lake-worthy wardrobe,
good for walking through damp woods.
My sinuses sting from the Franklin fires,
which have long since ceased to be
cozy or comforting to the soul.

My head is heavy, my bones
hurt more than usual.
I am suffocating for something
delicate and lovely,
the optimism of a daffodil,
a spring dress, an open-toed shoe.

Winter weighs on me like the
layers I have slept beneath for months,
my jaws locked in place,
a defense against the shivering cold.

Winter is the hide I wear,
its fatty stench rubbing against
my skin, too long with nothing pretty.
Days, weeks, seasons when the challenge
to endure is the only
requisite that can be met.

This year spring will not come,
every sunny day chased away
with yet another rain.
The chill will not loosen
its grip on the house,
the garden has no new bloom
by Easter.

I push my head
into the bear hide I wear,
and stamp my boots
as I dance in a circle
in front of the fire.

I cannot carry the weight
of the quiet season another day,
I buy sandals and wear
them with socks.