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April 2014, vol 10, no 1

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Clyde Kessler

Fiddling in a January Thaw

I fiddle a winter song beside the stove. The music catches the midnight of an old clock, and its chiming noise half-works into the fiddle strings like a shadow on my fingers.

I stop because I can't remember how the song goes, then I open the stove door. I toss in a small oak slab. A few sparks fly out of the stove and blink out on the wood floor. The kitchen is smoky and dark, and ready for me to fiddle and stomp-dance another song.

The night is warm for January. I can hear an owl, hooting close enough that it seems to be forcing its voice straight through the farmhouse door. I wish my fiddle strings could catch the owl song.

Icicles dripping
the water could drown a gnat
thawing on the porch.