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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mid-west winter

Submitted: December 19, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 19, 2007






Frosty day, bright with

winter sun.

Lake frozen over -

sable sheet stretching a mile.

The brook has ceased to run,

a meandering,

snow-filled furrow in the lawn.


Snowed-in, and loving it.

A week and no snow-plow

to open the road,

no salt to give traction.

Warmth? Fireplace.

Woodpile out the

kitchen door,

cut in the Autumn

for just such a time.

Food? Put on our skis -

and jog to the nearest farm

for eggs, butter and milk.

Then home again to make

waffles, not forgetting

the maple syrup.


Still, but not silent -

elms, ash, oak and chestnut

creak in the cold.

Pines, green yet ungrowing,

resplendent –

emerald and ermine

under weight of snow.


Peanut butter spread

on the limb of an oak

for squirrel and chipmunk;

fur-suited acrobats on branches,

long-jumpers and race-runners

at these Winter Olympics.

Suet and seed set at the base of the oak,

nut-hatch, blue-jay and cardinal feast -

a kaleidoscope of colours.


Wild geese waddle through

corn fields,

seeking where wind-scour

reveals grain and roughage.

As for the owl that sweeps

over the lawn -

sometimes rewarding himself with

a vole or field mouse

ventured out from juniper bushes –

he has a barn and

piles of hay to lodge in,

and is no ward of ours.


Short winter’s day,

leaden sky and early sunset.

We sit by the picture-window and watch –

under amber flood lights –

as young mistress racoon emerges

from her hollow tree.

In summer she will feast

on crawdads, catfish and clams.

Mid-winter there’s 

less toothsome fare -

no black bread and caviar here -

just stale rolls and suet

we’ve placed in a pool of light.

For how many generations have we done this?

How many litters born in that tree?


Long winter’s night,

stoke the fire,

into bed,

and in the morning –

check for deer tracks,

renew the peanut butter

and scatter more seed.

This our stewardship

in exchange

for letting the animals watch us

in our windowed winter cage.



by James Gagiikwe © 2007

© Copyright 2018 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

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