All night, the messenger ravened along the porch
clashing the carillons in dissonance
of gray-stopped sky strident with ice
and by morning the mountains to the east were white.
She took down three chime-sets
strung on high-tech, military cord,
pitched to thirds in concordant tintinnabulation
by a musician who named them resistant
to even the Winds of Montana.
She put them away—
said it would preserve them from a ruin
similar to their wind-wracked predecessors—
in boxes in the garden shed,
a covenant of spring when they would emerge
to purl of warmth and resilience,
Already she missed their mellifluent translations
of summer’s green arias and fall’s solemn balladry.
But last night, the song transitioned
to a cacophonic finale
brassed through the bare branches at the lawn’s edge,
and winter cymbaled in the bells.
They would not play that song
all the long white months,
could not voice the cold reminders
of the gray standing stones
while she held her breath and strained to listen
through windows shut against the reaper.
She preferred silence.