Pubescent Winter, crone daughter,
coming in dead of night to shine
like stars aglow on cold water
or the glint of a silver mine.
Frost, you blight the garden and crops
far worse than worms in leaf and root
with your cold white crystal caltrops
upon petal, stem, vine, and fruit.
But you kill, too, the worms in squirrels
and rabbits with your icy sting
so that while the frigid wind skirls
the family may eat till Spring.
A goddess takes and gives in turn—
beautiful, cruel, hoary and kind,
so cold that you can sometimes burn
as we leave Summer warmth behind.