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April 2015, vol 11 no 1

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Mary Ahearn


Winter, season of stillness and reserve, blends its alchemy of reflection and withdrawal here in the North. In long twilight afternoons, hours pass slowly, dreamily, into long nights. Curtains are drawn early, lamps lit, beds turned down. Books are pulled off shelves, cherished, read carefully. Almanacs and half-remembered poems are re-visited.

Ice closes the pond, long abandoned by the red-winged blackbirds. The leafless willows have yet to show a trace of yellow-green. Soon the snow returns, settling on the ice. Boundaries are obscured, hidden. It's a silent time.

Later, stars appear, glittering, sharp, and impersonal, high above in the indigo black sky of another turning year. The wind rises, bullying the drifting snow into blocking the gates, inward and outward.

between chair and table
a well worn path
the length of a winter night