Snow capes the naked branches, bandages hills,
shrouds the weedy gardens and iced waysides,
wraps the wrath of winter in scenic stills,
while underneath the frozen world resides,
as bruises do on uncomplaining arms
when wrapped in silken blouses bought to hide
a husband’s rage: his temper cools and calms,
she skirts round him. He lets her go. Dry-eyed,

she grits her teeth and sets the table. He’s
there muttering, watching, waiting. Glaring at
her, You’re dull - a useless wife and mother. She’s
scared stiff, frozen, cold as the icicles that
skirt the window sills, but smiles to please –
You’ll break that egg, he says. She stills to freeze.