A friend of mine is visiting Europe. She, just a few momets ago, posted this photo on Facebook. I borrowed it for it sparked a few words, a few dreams.
The winds, twisted with the mountain’s cold breath,
as strings twist to form rope, will snake
through the pines, the old oaks, souls gone to sleep,
coil around the cottage, tarnishing the walls with shiver,
etching the glass with ice. Outside, the thicket is heavy with life.
Finches and sparrows settle into nests, tiny hearts hoarding
all the heat they can. And the garden trolls are scheming,
their hats, a weave of pilfered cat hair and dry pine needles,
pulled tightly about their bald scalps. They conspire,
as trolls do, to scale the cottage wall, clinging to the backs
of large spiders searching for an imperfection, a crack
they could slide through, under the eaves, behind the shutters,
but, I’ll leave a window unbarred, a slim fissure
through which each troll will slip and find tea cups
thick with cotton where each little beast can find
its sleep, refuge from the wind. And I’ll dab honey
on small spoons, drops golden and wet, and bread crumbs
so those wee folk will eat and, in the morning, perhaps, share
their good fortune with the finches and sparrows
sinking deeper and deeper into the hope of a morning’s new sun.