Twenty below, wind bending the white pine, the cedar, the jack pine, ruffling the needles with its presence, clearing the yard of birds. Not even a fluffed-up chickadee at the feeder, no hairy woodpecker at the suet box, not even the squirrel, that persistent thief, leaping from the ledge of snow to hang from the feeder. Only wind and cold.
“Is this what there is when there is nothing?” she says.
He sighs, smiles, puts down his paper, looks at her standing at the window, arms crossed under her breasts, in the thin, lacy bathrobe he bought her—when? A 100 years ago? Probably.
“Yes,” he says. “Exactly right. This is what nothing looks like.”
“It’s beautiful,” she says. “Everything white.”
He goes to the window, puts his arms around her so she is nestled into him, fitting as compactly as a Russian doll, nothing between them and, he thinks, nothing can be nothing or everything. This is everything.
© 2014 Kathleen Coskran