Soon the time when just roads and rivers
run dark in the white. Then they’ll be gone.
But during such days of path and vein
you’ll trace back how things became.
You’re standing in a curving lane of birches
with the word confidante. The birches
are hilled, coming toward you, going away,
and it’s with you, this word, the same as light
coming bright off the snow, or light being held
as blue shadow. All of this
not far off, but nothing’s even fallen yet,
the woods empty, done boning up.

Copyright © 2018 Jill Osier. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Winter 2018.