Cold Snap: A Poem

img_1197Hey, folks. I’m two shows into the Behold the Lamb of God tour, and officially in the Christmas spirit, whatever that means. I guess it means I feel a little more like a 10-year-old kid and a little less like a 36-year-old guy who has to fix the sink and the muffler. We’re in Milford, Ohio, and big, fat snow is falling. That reminded me of this poem about winter. Thanks for reading!

(From the Bench at the Bend in the Trail)

I know that I should cringe
When I think of the muddy cold
Of winter in Tennessee.

But today, with my daughter
And her friend prancing
In the brown grass yard,
Crunching leaves, singing,
Rosy cheeked and rowdy
In the chill of Autumn,
Refusing their sweaters,
Drinking the dusk
Like a mug of cider,

I look to the early dark
Of winter with easy joy,
Because those are the days
We light candles, eat soup
And keep the water hot
For tea, or coffee, or cocoa
With those crunchy little
Marshmallows.

Those are the days
We wrap ourselves
In quilts my mother made
To watch our favorite movies.
Or we dust off the gameboard
And look out the windows
At the weak light and yearn
For past (or future) graces,

For dying days like this one,
Or days like last April
When I felt against my lips
How the new leaves
On the maples were soft
As a baby’s foot.

We find some peace
In warm pleasures:
In the smallness
Of our heated house
Beneath the vast
Mountain of cold air
Piled on us clear
To the stratosphere,
Trying to freeze us
In our lamp-lit hollow,
Our cleft of calm and longing
Where we tend the fire:
Memory of Autumn’s embers,
Coming song of spring,
Summer kicking in the womb.

Winter is where hope lies happy.