What does it mean when you show up at my door,
Youthful and majestic, a lost Croatian queen, carrying
In your deep fur-lined pockets, fossils of Neanderthal
Bones, like stones, unearthed centuries ago in Krapina?
On my stoop, in January’s radiant light, a crown surrounds
Your pale head, as the arctic winds blow through my open door,
Swirling into the house, touching every corner, smelling of sweet
Black juniper cones, icy ferns, pine needles, and a crush of cloves.
By the fire, we sit for hours as you regale me with your stories
Of giants, and faery-folk, snowy owls, and cave dragons of
Fire and smoke, and of stars that have fallen from the heavens
Into your winter’s garden, where they grow into crystal flowers.
Now that the wind has quieted down and the fire has turned cold,
And I have been told the last magical stories you will ever know,
You pack your words away and start on your long journey home,
Through the moonlit woods, over the snowy hill, toward home.