The world is white.
The beech outside my window might be a scrape of ink on a clean page, for all I can see of the field beyond. Snow fills the crevices between the branches and seals off the cracks of my windowpanes.
This morning, icy static rang on my windows and woke me.
Too much chaos here, not enough sense, said the gropple.
Make a pattern, it said.
So I pulled a clean sheaf from the drawer, and a pair of sewing snips. I folded each sheet twice, and made the designs-- half a tree here, half a heart there, half a star.
Half a man, his arm reaching to half a woman on the other fold.
Half a leaf, and another, and another, to remember the green I can't see now.
Scattered leaves, hearts, trees and people opened whole on my bed.
I pressed the patterned lace to the windows, half a snowstorm; then the blizzard began.
The cutouts jump from one story to the next on my ratty old quilt.
A white heart finds a center on this orange sunburst, two pale children run into a green jacquard woodland, hands clasped.
White leaves frame a face in blue calico that disappears when I brush them aside.
All these stories-- I haven't the heart to sweep them into the wastebasket.
The cats curl nearby. Mags dreams a calico chase, batting snowflakes and stars, while Sim's golden eyes follow every scatterling story to its conclusion.
He sniffs at a brown square, edges its dancers off to a red bird-block with a delicate claw.
Tell me this one, he says.