The Day After the Solstice

Rain falls through a more frigid drizzle,
rippling the pond that had just the day before
been frozen over — the temperature skates
a few degrees upward and the world is altered.

Without the ice, a pair of buffleheads return
to paddle about the dark waters,
interrupting their loafing with the occasional dunk
below to feed, before popping back into view
as if nothing has happened.
For them this is not a season of turning inwards,
of slumber under heavy blankets. As for me,
I had struggled to rouse myself out into these bone-chill winds,
but there were errands to run. Surrendering
like the heart that is slow to wake from its tribulations,
but wakes all the same,
I lean into the day of a brief and bashful sun.

The Day After the Solstice