in the sharp ice air
that stings the hollows of my nose
and mingles with the blood that flows
to each hair follicle,
through each artery, each vein,
fueling my stops and starts toward home,
warming my wind-whipped skin,
sinking deep into the marrow of each bone.
out the warm mist
that somersaults from my lips
and dances, dips,
disappears into sky and soil
or is caught by the spindly fingers of winter trees
who hold it until spring
when it will burst into leaves . . .
In this new,
this bright and bleak
this beckoning year
I will breathe.