Title: The Nine Wolves of Winter
"The nine wolves of winter are roaming abroad,"
Is what my mother said.
"They've frostbiting teeth; they're icicle-clawed;
The snow is the fur they shed."
But I shut out the mass of dark clouds overhead
And challenge the violent air,
Because Sarah, my daughter, is not in her bed:
She's out in the storm somewhere.
I've only my eyes---we've no lantern to spare.
The ice-laden trees disappear.
Into savage white shadows and cruel darkness I stare
And blink back an unfrozen tear.
"I'm your knight in bright armor. I'll always be here
To rescue you, princess, my light."
And the words sear my heart as I stumble and veer
With almost no strength left to fight.
The nine wolves of winter are running tonight.
With sharp, icy paws they tread
Up over the form of a dark, snow-clad knight,
Not yet---but soon to be---dead.