by Nancy Cook

I do not like dreary February,
wintry flog that leaves enduring stress marks.
Craving sun, I rail against her still dark
nights, a Lenten penitentiary’s
indeterminate parole. My wary
heart disdains first sightings of the horned lark.
Warm days can’t be counted on as benchmarks —
soon, Morozko comes again with fury.

Yet I need her: Ancient ice is cracking,
scattered floes foretell of watery tombs,
come but for her ice-drugged sleep exacting
patience. April’s early kiss portends doom.

Frigid month, how could I find you lacking?
Stay a while. (And yes, this is a love poem.)