Had I stopped that night to wrap a single arm
around your shivering form and pulled you tight
against my warm chest, tonight you might be sitting
in the chair across the room reading quietly
beneath a blanket and the table lamp’s glow.

Instead, that one foot of unattended space
widened in your heart and mind, grew
colder, fuller of snow, until my voice
was too distant to hear, my face a blur
and a tearing wind blew drifts
against the quickly receding years.