Poetry: The First Cold Breath

The first cold breath of winter
comes like an owl at night
the silent swoop of speckled wings
the joyful hoots of flight

The cold descends upon you
a shroud that you will wear
the chill of bones and whitest breath
the cross that you will bear

The cold will cull the summer buds
till their rhythm fades to black
the snows suppressing wondrous song
till the warmth of spring comes back

But the cold is not your enemy
nor old Death’s sharpest knife
for cold sweeps one year’s ills away
to make way for new year’s life