But the smell of slaughtered tree is another reminder that December is nigh, and that it will soon be winter. By the time these tree cadavers are cast away it will be here, and perhaps there will be snow on the ground. Tonight the moon is nearing the full, and its light is like the ghost of the sun haunting the woods. How much more dramatic it would be if there were snow. The shadows of the trees are so stark when they fall on white ground, and the doubly reflected light is so much more intense.
The thought of such scenes almost makes me wish that winter were here already. What truly does make me wish that winter had already arrived is the fact that once it is here, the closer it will be to ending. If it puts on a good show while passing through, fine. The important thing is that it pass. Every day I count the buds on the camellia bush. Others may celebrate the holiday of the dead trees, but I will wait and celebrate the blooming of the new year's first camellias.
The Cat's Song
by Marge Piercy
Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother's forgotten breasts.
Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I'll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.
You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?
Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.
Come. I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word
of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.