In winter

Darkness falls from the wide prairie sky
All at once

Scattering white tail deer as they peruse the farmer’s bare fields replete with stubble,
Wrinkling old snow,
Blowing its pieces across the county road
Right where it meets the tribal road,
Making it suddenly difficult to navigate
Such different worlds, such different meanings.

The leaden sky slept restlessly against the horizon all day long.

Now it greets darkness with familiarity,
Relived of its celestial burden, abandoning both moon and stars for heavy blackness.

Across the way, I see two bobbing headlights coming down from the hills. The school bus stitches night to day then day to night, retrieving kids across three counties.

In winter
the bus ride is uniquely long.
It also holds a promise.

Soon the Earth will welcome minute upon minute more
and long shadows will touch the fields
as bus-shaped appendages emerge roadside.
Solstice signals slow transformation, long awaited.

Bare trees and wind-whipped grass moan with the heaviness of winter.
I understand their yearning. I feel it in my bones.