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By Gay Baines

On the watch for snow and freeze, I moved the curtain, gazed up, and there it was, the moon, a great hatchetblade of white in the black sky. I felt the slap of wind, gallops of it against the shingles. Wind’s long arms twisting the spruce boughs and the knuckly branches of catalpas. Today Tokyo shuddered with quakes, and somewhere in the steppes a traveler lost his path, then his boots, then his heart. Whoever painted pictures of hell as heat, pits of boiling pitch, lakes of aubergine lava, had not lived on lake prairie in January. The solstice has been celebrated, but its promise will not arrive until after the long hunger that ushers in light and sun.

GAY BAINES lives and writes in East Aurora. A longtime member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths, she is the co-owner and co-editor of July Literary Press.