I thought it snowed last night. The morning was cold, drawing the color out of my face like a wintry syringe. My breath mocked and danced before me, flying up to join the clouds that were as gray and threatening as a waiting battalion. The branches of the trees meshed together to form a black spiderweb that extended the length of the street.
It was that cold. Most of the flowers had receded into the warm, mothering earth. But the roses braved the silvery, shivering air – roses, pale and white, huddled inside leaves that held them like cupped hands. But at first glance…I thought they were something else. These winter bouquets dissolved into a solstice vision that emerged from a long night.
To me, the rose gardens were flocked with the evening's snowfall. I saw melting landscapes, patient under a chilled, crystalline frosting. I saw snow as soft as mittens, although made of sharp-edged and serrated snowflakes, their images a kalidoscope of knives.
The gentle, rose-colored scent froze in the bitter air just as my breath had done.
The whiteness that I saw was as pure as a Beluga's, as depthless as a polar ocean. It was alloyed with shadows of sapphire and cracked into filagrees of ice. I peered closer, hoping to see tracks of reindeer and fox; looking for paths embroidered with tinsel and fallen arctic stars. But all I saw were thorns and the offended petals. And I drew back again.