A single note rises, the prelude to a primeval song carried
on the delicate wing of the wind, a fluttered whisper
of frigid breathe on cold skin, swirling through the chaos of lark trills
and snowfall, stilling for a moment until startled
by a distant thumping, an urging forward, a forewarning
like the pulsing of roots underground or the pounding
of vesnas pacing their palace floors.
Will there be another cake with frosting smooth and slick like a boreal bog
dusted with snowflakes and softened by the strengthening sun?
Will it ooze down the throat or lodge itself there, stealing the last of ragged breaths?
This is the turning, a moment cruel and hopeful when small seeds grow to perish
at the icy hands of fate, when the half-grown are sacrificed at the altars of destiny and folly
and the fortunate, with nostrils flared, inhale the scent of fecund land, the air.