by James Owens

A freezing rain made the wrists of birches
shine in sleeves of glass. Pines laid

weighted branches in the snow, lest
they break flush at the trunk. Today’s thaw

will loosen them, and in spring they will rise.
February throws us unseasonable days

of flow and freeze, the way the mind happens
across a sentence belonging to another’s voice

and wonders how it came here, through all
this chill distance. I turn to you to complete

the thought, which really means giving back
your own words, but remember you are still far,

so I hold close what we know, shelter what the trees
have taught and only you might understand.

— from Juniper Volume 4, Issue 1