December—not April cruelest, nor June
In moon—must be the most romantic month,
Why else make men of snow, or gods of men,
Or turn the world virgin-white, life in death?

At dusk, a chickadee, cold-ruffed, calls out
For light, for PHOE-be, not because he’s fool-
Hardy, in touch with nothing there, but cut
From deep within, by force unnameable.

Up close, our frosted windows filigree
With silvery stems and baby’s breath, marking
Our turn of mind from ice to what we see
In the glaze, and search on for through the dark.

We feel the creeping cold, approaching death,
Yet know a surging warmth, a lasting breath.


Rod Kleber has written short fiction, plays, essays, and textbooks as well as poetry.  His most recently published poems in traditional form are “Pinwheel” in *The Nation* and “Mary Among Us” in *Dappled Things*, both appearing in the past year.

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One Response

  1. Ruth Asch

    Not so much romance here, as the dramatic light and dark, the idealism amid a struggle, of some Romantic writers and artists. The last couplet is perfect and very memorable.


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