o, winter

Written by Jules Descoteaux
Art by Maria Orlova

winter tucks us under his blanket again
with hot cocoa & extra pillows. i am not
his biggest fan, yet i thank him, tell him
i like the way the marshmallows float &
the way tree branches bend under his luminescent weight.
he smiles back at me & tells me he likes the
way his cool breath reddens my cheeks &
the clothes we layer in attempts at warmth. i know
what he means because i feel it too. i am fond
of the sweaters & blankets. i am fond of cloudy exhales
smoking out my mouth. i am fond of fireplace-warmth despite
not being fond of winter himself. however each year
he gets a little more bearable, a little more beautiful.
his falling snow becomes a blanket of polar perfection,
freckling the windows & my hair with snowflakes. his smile
draws warmth into it from the air. his ice teeth shimmer
in what little sun there is. every candied word shows itself
in the air. it’s a Hallmark movie ending when i look over things
i used to view as decay– barren trees & no sunlight,
lonesome red & white & gray all over–and find only
new life–icicle teeth happily calling me friend & family
as though he’s dotted my windows for years wherever i’ve gone.
winter stays out from under the blanket but smiles
so i know he’s warm. he watches us sip our cocoa & asks, is it good?
people have told me it can be too bitter, or i am too cold, but i think
warmth is subjective & the sweetness is too.
i smile back & say,
o, winter, it’s amazing & so are you.