How Like a Winter…

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(Sonnet xcvii)

So Shakespeare describes absence. Yes—but no, since every winter ends, gentling to spring’s tentative yellows, then the green and blue and bolder tones of flowering summer. So has this winter passed, as do all things— except the final absence. Without you, for instance, all of time is cut in two— before and after—seasons all the same, despite the beckoning lushness of the new, the living, rich in fur and fins and wings, intent on resurrection. But they go, our absent loves, and leave us stranded here, parted from all the changes of the year as by an endless fall of pallid snow.