A Hard Freeze

When the temperature drops with the sun,
there is a stillness that comes on the world:
like a blanket of crystal on the lawn
that mutes out even the low sound of breath,

or a layer of gauze, chilled and lowered
on the exposed throat of the universe
(so that its murmuring voice is made dull
and one must listen for it in the hush),

the silence that comes with the evening frost
brings a solemn and delicately cool stop
to the city as it huddles for warmth
in its houses and beside parked cars,
as the slow creep of frost extends its touch
and holds the whole earth absolutely still.

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