A chilly, desolate wind whistles into a wintertime city.
Snow covered rooftops and bare, unadorned skyscrapers shiver.
Loose shutters knock and rattle on rusty hinges.
Goose bumps rise on flesh touched by raw air.
Dark wool collars are raised high.
Bright, puffy down filled jackets tighten.
Crumpled paper swirls; a colorful tempest of red wrappers, yellow cellophane
and discarded coffee cups whirl, twist, funnel up and down
until a sudden stop
when encountering a dead end alley.
Pedestrians bury themselves deep into winter furs.
Scarves of exotic hues and intricate design
protect frosty cheeks.
Stiff boots enclose cold feet tapping anxiously toward indoor warmth.
Little eddies of snow drift across sidewalks,
approaching people sitting around a fire.
Pink, orange, blue and yellow flames light a darkened sky.
Puffs of air rise from mouths and noses.
Puffs of steam rise from hot cocoa mugs cradled by mittens.
Wind dances and sways in delighted bursts.
Puffs of ash spark.
The fire hesitates, then roars as the wind snakes around
trying to get closer to the people.
Wind wants to sing a joyful song, participate with the group.
Blankets and mugs are quickly gathered.
Snow tossed onto the flames.
Burning logs sizzle angrily, sputter and become charcoal.
Hasty kisses peck rosy cheeks.
Discordant good-byes are called out through blowing snow,
All are gone.