He had a hardened harshness to his disposition,
brutal, cold, and domineering;
but underneath the ripping winds of his cutting speech
and the impersonality of his attitude,
was a gentleness, a small tone of merciful warmth.
He was unassuming when you first noticed him,
with his fluffy snow hair,
pine needle beard, pale skin,
ruddy-tipped nose, and red winterberry eyes.
He appeared to you like an old photograph,
in fading hues of grey you could only assume were once vivid.
His legs were sturdy tree trunks,
and his arms naked ink-black branches.
Dandruffy flakes of snow clumsily tumbled from his head
and gathered on his thin branch arms,
eventually piling up into a soft, white blanket layer.
He was rather bulbous around the stomach,
which was full of dark, heavy clouds,
and which he struggled to heave along with himself everywhere.
He was old and tired,
and something about his pine needle beard
or his cantankerous mannerisms
or his hard ice exterior but fluffy, powdery interior
or the way he always had hot cocoa ready for you
reminded you of your grandfather.
And so you loved him.