My mother introduced me to Jack Frost
one early evening in a long ago December
as we huddled together in the dark
next to a front room window,
the cold from outside finding its way inside,
chilling our almost cheek-to-cheek faces.
Those were the days way before our
obsession with R-factors and insulation.
(I mean, we had lead and asbestos everywhere.)

Smiling, she pointed to Jack’s artful depiction of
a bouquet of frozen ferns etched with such
delicate grace on the thin pane of glass.
The frost was silvery white until the headlamps
from passing cars momentarily drenched the
designs with rainbow rich purples and
magentas and sparkling yellows.

Frost_patterns_2

Inside my impressionable four-year-old head
the magic made perfect sense, enchanting
a tender imagination before reason and
education would cruelly dispel sprites and
faeries and innocence and assumptions that
anything might be possible.

And so we gazed through that brittle canvass,
silently waiting for Pops to come home from work.
The corner streetlight seemed so alone out there,
a mysterious glowing globe of amber straining
with every possible watt to penetrate the long
hours of yet another bitter winter’s night.

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