The Voice

February has begun now
In earnest, her decidedly
Cold and wet beginning
Foaming into a lost
And snowbound year.
Likens the start to
The cold forlorn birth
Of a frozen stream,
Current all but spent.
Attempts to conjure up
Even the weakest,
Lost spill of power,
All exist just outside
The field of winter’s
Listless embrace of cold.
Even more insidious
And cruel is the sound,
A weak and seemingly
Crestfallen murmur, a shrill
Her alto voice often
Sullen and sounding alone.
This voice is the sound,
Which knows only cold,
Long winter nights,
Has a chorus behind it,
A vast choir of sounds
That summon the heart
To rise above and through
The despair of the season.
It’s as if her precise
Timeline of winter
Has become a stanza
Of warmth, a vocalist within
A score of dynamics,
Tones struggling for control,
Straining to perform along
Intimate structure,
Signatures of time,
Sensuous rhythms of syncopation.
I know of no echo, no voice
That has her power and
Emotion of the day
On this day a beginning
For this day in a season
All set up for a
New chance, becomes
A better voice, emerges
And begins alive inside
Found and fog-ridden days.

© K. James Ribble