Hurry south, then, as you always do when

snow clouds bruise the mountain tops, and

I wax my snowshoes and fill my canteens

to go again into a storm looking for myself

Again I say, “Come with me,” as I always do,

warn you it’s easy to get lost when nature

changes into white and night and day grow

as different as you and I have become

Remember, it’s you who sits in front of a wood stove

strumming your sitar sipping herbal tea,

keeps saying you don’t know me anymore,

that my face is hidden behind a bushy white beard,

my once boyish feet are hard with calluses,

my hands cool and moist

It’s you who still brings up that night

I said I needed something more,

I needed howling wind,

that night I walked away from you

shivering at the door begging me not to leave,

the snow so wet and cold and hurtful your eyes

watered more than tears

All you could see was my silhouette, my tracks, me

making my way like some kind of hairy Sasquatch,

paddling side to side with ski poles in powdery confusion

until you saw nothing, felt nothing, nothing but ice

How pitiful I looked the next morning, you said, moustaches

crusted with mucous and frost and crying and sadness,

wanting you to greet me with your own tears, wanting

you to take me back as if nothing had ever happened

You said I was someone else with the same name

of the man who wrote you love poems and created

exquisite dinners and cut wildflowers along the road

You said I didn’t have the same eyes,

my mouth was weighted down by snow

You said I had become what I always wanted to be,

a man of snow and for all you cared I could take

as many winters as I wanted to find the man I had lost

So, hurry south again to stretch in the sun,

and I’ll strap on snowshoes, parka and mittens,

try to find again what could not be found

when my face was young, my hands loving, my feet

as youthful and soft as you remember them

And if I return from where I‘ve been lost,

beardless, my hair in silver ringlets,

lambent longing in my eyes,

a poem in one hand, a hyacinth in the other,

can we be lovers still?