Prelude to the Frost By Tiffany Renee Harmon

Prelude to the Frost

Winter is not coming.
Within our embrace, I see only tulips.
I feel only the warmth of your skin
and the rough stubble on your jaw
as it brushes against my cheek.
Your blend of sweat and aftershave
transport me to a peaceful place
where we recline inside the woods
intertwined among the branches.

Winter can’t be coming.
The brisk wind was unexpected
but I’ll consider it a gentle caress instead
of the harbinger it was meant to be.
The violets are looking a bit pale.
I think I forgot to water them,
but I’m sure we’ll be just fine
as long as I hold on tight without
smothering the morning glory vines.

Winter won’t be coming.
Not as  long as we hold our heads
under the pond’s murky depths
as the crickets chirp and the robin’s sing
and the toads croak a misguided lullaby.
The last time we came up for air
I thought I saw a snowflake but
you wrapped your arms around my waist
and I became distracted once again.

Now as we wander through the sunflowers 
I begin to wonder what this means .
Is the fortress of our affection lasting
or is our spring a dream?

Tiffany Renee Harmon is a poet and artist based out of Cincinnati, OH. She has an MFA from Lindenwood University, and her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Poetry Quarterly, Page&Spine, and Third Wednesday. Learn more about her at


  1. I enjoyed this emotional denial of Winter and I will in the future forbid snowflakes but not this year. I like the Winter not, the Winter can’t, the Winter won’t, and see that a robin’s cricket is a toady to optimism. A side note: I’m not sure about holding one’s breath underwater — that seemed like a break from the rest of the poem. I agree that Winter doesn’t come within a warm embrace. The lies of fantasy are so warm and necessary just like dreams need to be unreal. Although planting morning glories near a fence won’t actually fence out winter (although I suppose they could climb a snow fence), and planting won’t say prayers for violets in the planting, still dreams will keep spiraling up.


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