Strip Already


No birds at the feeder; no rabbit tracks leading away from the deck. That there is shelter should be grace enough. How bare simplicity speaks in the strictest economy.

When it is this cold, one has to move to avoid the deep sleep that pools below the surface of things. Secular thoughts grow best in this garden of survival, or so it seems that they stretch across the skin in an effort to conserve heat. One deliberate step in front of the other in snow this deep. There is no quiet in that. Only work.

Naked saints lead to full contact. How they strip matters not to the bluejays or the cardinals, nor do the birds care what happens under the drifts. So just strip already.

before the gray
becomes a lake again

Cold columns of wind plate ice onto the inside of the windows. Soup mutters on the stove. Bread swells in the oven. How winter swaddles the loose and restless yearning for April!

A thin band of sunlight breaks through just long enough for a thought. A holy hitch triggers an avalanche of gratitude. Yes, January stings. But where men's eyes cannot see, the remnants of last year gives way to whatever is next. Begin again. And again. What choice is there?