January 4, 2009

Winter Afternoon

the sky, coffee,
an espresso of dark,
or chocolate melted smooth
over the land, or
molasses, crude oil,
everything dark, sticky, slow
as my thoughts today
driving through the tunnel of the afternoon
frozen so deep the snow soaks up
light, gleams only gray.

Ahead of me the double red
beads of taillights against a taffeta
of exhaust. We drivers sit hunched
clutching steering wheels,
eyes toward home.

It is the deep well at the end of the year.
The light slows, drags itself sleepily
over the edge of the day, flush with dreams,
then sinks back down again.

As I would do. For all the taffeta things:
ambition, plans, gossip, the memory of garden-
seem worn threadbare by this dark time
or slowed, soothed asleep. Deep
in some dark corridor, something
coils: a lizard’s tail, wide blind eyes.
It uncurls in my mind
when all is still,
awakes.

(From We Tempt Our Luck,  forthcoming from Astounding Beauty Ruffian press)

4 Responses to “January 4, 2009”

  1. glow Says:

    this poem especially speaks to me. taffeta things, memory of garden, deep well at the end of the year. Do you think people outside understand winter this way, the way we do?

  2. mattiespillow Says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the comments and the new poem. I’m hoping that these winter poems communicate it a bit to readers Outside. The winter gives in profound ways, even while it limits us physically.

  3. Claire Says:

    Living where winter is only a month long and never strong enough to frost the ground, it is easy to forget one’s place in the world and only think of completing daily tasks. On my desktop I have a picture of a sunrise over the snow-toped trees in Fairbanks, just to remind myself of what it is like outside the city. It is wonderful to read you meditations and have an image of a different life.

  4. emily Says:

    Love reading this blog, always learn something interesting facts.
    Emily RandallHusky Training

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