This time of year

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This time of year when I go out
Winter is like an inland sea—
Waves half way up the gutter spout
And ripples lapping at the tree.

You’d think the swelling tide of snow
Claimed memory of an ancient shore
And with a melting undertow
Would turn the stone to shells once more.

But only once when I’d come to
Half-wakened from a fitful dream
Did something like a tide slip through
The bedroom window’s broken seam.

The snow seemed finally come for good,
An icy shore beneath my bed,
And yet I think that if I’d stood
I would have stepped on sand instead.

The taste of salt was in the air
And though the frost had licked the hinge
I saw, at midnight, something there—
Sunlight skirting the doorway’s fringe.

I only had to go outside
To see the ocean at my sill—
I only had to—but that tide
Will come again. Someday, I will.

This time of year

February 11, 2013 by me, Patrick Gillespie

11 responses

  1. Nice stuff. I just came in from having a smoke on the front porch of a house we have rented on the Gulf coast of Florida. It’s good to be down here, good to not be closed-in. The seasons are inevitable but where you spend them makes a difference. Enjoy your warm days and good thoughts.

    • Thanks for the comment. I used to visit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a child — haven’t visited in years. Was -17 this morning. I did some emergency insulating this winter! I wouldn’t get too cozy down there. I understand the ice-storm to end all ice-storms is headed your way.

  2. Second verse reminds me of a movie special effect–receding water wiping away the old scene.
    You’ve hit several senses throughout: lapping/sound, icy/touch, salt/taste…it brings depth, for sure. Also, there are no forced rhymes, which is always a welcome read.

  3. Patrick: What a welcome sight — a superb poem in stirring verse! The way you develop the central metaphor is so intricate, so effortless. You’re a gifted critic, but I must say you truly come to life in verse. I need — the world needs — to read more of your poems. Don’t hide your light.

    Bravo, good sir!

    Steven Withrow

    • Wow, Steven. That has to be one the nicest things anyone has ever said about my poetry. Leave it to another poet to understand it. One of the reasons I lost interest in writing poetry was the deafening silence and indifference afforded it. I guess I’m not a hero. I like knowing my writing’s liked. :-)

  4. “One of the reasons I lost interest in writing poetry was the deafening silence and indifference afforded it.”

    There are a few people who still appreciate form and rhetorical figures, et cetera. Not quite a Formal Army. But there should be one.

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