Night comes mid-day and the second sister
waves her hand over the three children, spins her dark magic,
begs them to lay for a spell,
bare feet touching beneath the quilt.
She draws the blind on the dormers,
and moves to fasten the latch
against the impatience
that blusters and coughs, nagging to be let in.
She murmurs her invitation, but her husband
still thinks it’s summer. He’s tapping his toes.
He’s anxious to move on.
He kicks at the grass, the too-warm blanket, sighs and rolls over.
She lights the stove with her last trembling match
summoning him to lay with her at the hearth,
Wrapped in his scratched-canvas jacket, she remembers
missing snaps on the sleeve and his smoke-softened wool.
In the ragged split of winter,
stones they gathered together in the heat
feel fragile in her hand.
They could all snap in the cold.
In front of the fire, the second sister dreams waning moons
over the smoke-softened wool of tree-line.