Winter Love

brown sneakers on wet pine needles

kinship with the cold
and built for solitude,
me in my brown leather sneakers,

mashing down a wet bed
of pine needles. the memory
finds me, like a friendly dog

whose owner’s property
my trail traverses, and January
opens again resplendently,

its frost-gilded limbs growing
wet with the warming day–
how clean light crackles

through the canopy,
pinned in place by a bolt
of cirrus clouds curling

across my panning eyes,
a coasting vulture glides,
its wings a black whisper

shushing like the jagged floes
that tilt and tumble down
the rocky river’s dips

and the water’s glassy slide
draws a song of life and death
from the slick, ancient limestone

the author
Alan D. Tucker
Content Blogger, Essayist, & Novelist

A Call to Winter Lovers

On a cloudy day in late December, I find the whitened blue-gray of winter distances soothing. The tree-covered hills of Middle Tennessee, bowed like the backs of ancient wanderers huddling on the edge of town, work a strange, restful magic on the eyes. And then the early dusk: how the blue-gray deepens; how the ends of bare limbs silhouette into thousands of gnarled and knobby fingers, heaving here-and-there in the brashness of bitter breezes–the kinds of breezes we’re never dressed for, so we hurry from the car to the great indoors, where our bones ache a few minutes more.

All these things conspire to the mystery of winter. I know no dread of a long night, only the embrace of a cavernous, comfortable dark, one that welcomes introverted sojourning, where I cocoon myself in flannel and plaid and lamplight. Winter makes many think of death, but doesn’t it also somehow make you feel more alive? Is it because I was born in January, that I have this drive?

Our Tennessee cold spells never last long; perhaps if I had a Michigan address, winter would be more of an inconvenience. But for now, living as I do in the humid South, I get excited when I hear the temperature is dropping. Will anyone else claim this?