# Winnipeg Winter Sonnets, January 2019

with a little help from Old Will and EB and Trish and Tenille



Let me not to the extreme beauty of Winnipeg
Winter admit the weeniest of arguments!
Winter is not winter where it melting finds
Or softens its grip to please whiny wusses!
O no! It is an orchestra of terrible frights that
Grips us in its iron claws and squeezes
And molds us into staggering stalagmites.
It is the crystal breath of every living thing
Exquisitely frozen into visible fog hanging regal
And luminous, quivering, in the cracking air.
Winter falters not as the season progresses
But maintains its fierce grip even upon cars
And busses, until every round tire goes square
And our lungs bleed from the million thrusts
Of icy knives in there. But look you! How lavishly
          The yellow sun beaming above the frosty sky
          Scatters diamonds onto the cold snow below.


Shall I compare You to an earthquake or tsunami?
O Winnipeg Winter! You are much mightier than these.
Earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and hurricanes
Do shake the fields and oceans and mountains and beaches<
Wherever they arise, leaving destruction in their lees.
And then they're gone.  While You, O Bright White Giantess
Of the North, sweep through our city week in week out,
All day and through the icy night, for half the year and more. 
You bedazzle us, your trembling awestruck friends,
Four and two-leggeds, huddled in rough feathers and fur,
Or if we're lucky, naked entwined somewhere in thick wool.
You prance along the streets and sidewalks, You sashay
Through insulated house walls and fortified government halls.
You chuckle and whistle and sing.  You grab us in your icy jaws
          And shake and howl and snap our brittle bones and
          Crunch us into little heaps of dirty snow.  You rule, yo.



How do I love You, Winnipeg Winter?  Let me count
The ways.  I love You deeply madly truly to the extent
My shivering Self can manage when Your Big Band season
Comes around.  I love You warmly though truthfully my
Frostbitten fingers and toes can no longer clap and stamp
For You.  I love you heroically, gripping my new red plastic
Shovel tight for another thousand heaves of frozen snow. 
I love You fearfully, curled up shivering in my bed.  I love You
Admiringly, seeing You close up, Your grand Face, Your
Awesome Head.  I love You loyally all through the Game,
Knowing You hold not only the Queen of Spades but
Every trump and Ace.  I love You with the love I lost in my
Aestheticized self-reflexive futurist postmodern phase,
Knowing You now in real time flesh and blood and bone.
          I'm Yours alone and You, You own the town, O shining
          Bride of Awesomeness in Your lacy icy Winter gown.


©  Winnipeg Poet Laureate Di Brandt, January 2019