To Sandra

To live a winter,

your roots must rest

and the water freeze in your core.

Stay motionless, white, almost imperceptible.

Do not bear fruit; it is not

the season to blossom.

Survive winter, do not

become it.

The weight of snow on your branches

will make them bow

and some to break.

You are not those branches.

You are the growing, severing, and healing,

life itself, shaped as a healing wound.

Make no sudden movements.

A frozen log will burst

if tossed into flames.

It is winter and someone is drawing you.

Nearly invisible, white, blossomless.

Only your body, your closed eyes, frozen water.

They have no love for spring,

but for your life, full of endurance,

still existing, no matter how cold.


A life is one big

sowing of seeds, or of sandcastles

that crumble into a beach after their

fleeting joy. Not for sale –

our suitcase holds

masks worn until threadbare,

forced upon us by pain long past.

Labor, a sacrificial dance –

our lives are one big

sowing of sacrificial dances;

one big shooting of errors and arrows from the hip.

We anticipate a hint that we’re chosen,

but there is no one to decide it.

Nobody invites us to the dance floor,

it’s always empty

before we, with awkward uncertainty,

step onto it to the beat

of our own absurd offerings.

Translated by Adam Cullen