Coming of Winter

It whispers first
in the quiet cold of the walk
to get the paper at the end of the road.
My hands are alone in hearing it
as they suddenly stiffen and ache
from the cold;
not as much my willing servants.
My breath trails visibly
away from me, and I see
my dog-buddy’s breath
in puffs, driven by sniffs
at some unseen but interesting thing.

It murmurs next
through the intermittent downpours
which point out
my forgetfulness in not getting the gutters cleaned;
their overflows laughing and pointing at me in my embarrassment.

It begins to grumble
with the wind gusts
on another morning’s walk to the paper-
a sound like a freight train in the distance,
rapidly closing on you;
louder,
louder still…
then the sudden, visceral thump of the wind
striking like a giant hand slap,
lifting your hat and threatening to snatch it;
a dangerous, mischievous lover,
whose exotic beauty draws you in
but whose fecklessness tears you to shreds.

It arrives with a howl,
both wind and rain combining in a shriek
pummeling themselves against the windows,
abject anger on display for all to see.
Clawing madly at your clothes
and throwing a drink in your face,
it does people little good
but refreshes the land.

Now we run from building to car,
heads down, heedless
of the power on display;
but all we need to do
is to look up briefly
and admire the hand of God at work;
hard though it might be to do
with a wet face and rain-spattered glasses.

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