Through closed lids she sensed
the narcotic of Spring as it pressed
a smile on sleep's last vestige.
Outside, a drowsy clattering
of horses' hooves on the street.
She tried to recall ever before
waking to this sound.
Far off? Long ago? A different life?
She opened her eyes
to harsh winter pushing its light
into the minutiae of her room.
Awake, exposed, she lay alone.
Outside, branches shuddered without sap.
No noble hoofprints in the snow.