The Hug On The Step

It’s early December.
A vicious wind 
rattles walls and windows,
with enough venom left over 
to desecrate every human body
fool enough to be out in it.

I’m on her doorstep,
all chattering teeth
and rattling-dice knees,
pressing the buzzer 
with a bare brittle finger.
I know what comes next.
The door opens.
She appears.

Her love can stand on tip toe,
balance itself with arms around my waist
or hands pressing against my shoulder blades
or roaming the nerve-ends of my neck.

It can operate in such close quarters.
And it doesn’t need words…
shapes and contours are more than enough.

And there’s a yearning implied
by the strength of her squeeze.
Though she’s the one doing the hugging,
she begs me to not let go.

We defy the bitterness.
We defang the squalls.
In the heart of winter,
winter gets its heart.