It snowed before Thanksgiving, and the rain fell gently on our feast day
but after that, the ground grew dry as bones,
the thermometer registering merely single numbers.

Yesterday, we awoke to sunshine on the mountains,
a light jacket of snow covering the streets and buildings like white dust.

This morning, before sunrise, I opened the blinds to silence,
the quiet that comes only from inches of snow in our driveway, on our cars, plowed from the roads.
I am triple-layering everything, pulling on snow boots and heating thermoses of coffee and tea,
falling into bed long before midnight,
baking bread and granola and unfreezing large jars of applesauce,
reaping from what we chose to preserve.

"To be trustworthy in winter," as Darrelle says.
Well, I have already shoveled the driveway, the front steps, the mail carrier's route,
rolled collected pinecones in golden glitter to hang on yarn,
sawed down a fir tree from the woods on my parents' property.

And there is no telling, no, there is no telling,
just how long these months will feel in our bodies.

My bottom lip will split for many more dry days
my gloved hands beg lotion
my solitary existence want for companionship.

but for the reading of David James Duncan (and his most colorful words!)
the games of Speed Scrabble and Pinochle,
the bundled babes huddled in this market co-op,
the cedar boughs and late-night letters,
the pine and myrrh candles,

we will survive. And we will thrive.


till the rays of gold and honey cover you

{a future of forestry song playing on repeat in my house]

This chest is full of memories of gold and silver tears
I’ll give you more to own than all of this
And I’ll give you more than years
For you were once a child of innocence
And I see you just the same
Your burdens couldn’t win or lose a thing
Oh, I’d tell you once again,
But you’re always on the run

Slow your breath down
Just take it slow
Find your heart now, oh
You can trust and love again
Slow your breath down, just take it slow
Find your smile now, oh
You can trust and love again

If you leave I’ll still be close to you
When all your fears rain down
I’ll take you back a thousand times again
I’ll take you as my own
I would sing you songs of innocence
‘Til the light of morning comes
‘Til the rays of gold and honey cover you
In the sweetness of the dawn
But you’re always on the run

You’re not alone
You’re now a part of me
You feel the cure
I’ll feel the toil it brought you