The vulnerable see-through state of winter
too bright in the light too cold
in the dark exposed in the elements of fury
and brisk uncomfortable cold rarely enough layers
so we hurry from the crisp air

To our home retreating contracting cowering
again and again as the season breaks us down
to the bareness within
why do we fight the cold why do we seasonally dread
the moment in the year where it is okay to come within

To tend to the bruises
to comfort our mighty heart to breathe into and heal
the wounds under the scars yes we find bitterness
and blame and rooted shame but that isn’t all
that is left in the winter’s cave

Even shadows are only seen
because there is light
behind them and that light
oh that light
softens everything


  1. Such a contrast in this poem, Carrie, with the harshness of winter and our reluctance to take advantage of being forced to be inside by reflecting, concentrating on who we are and why we do what we do; and then the solace of the gentle last verse and the softness of winter light. I loved every one of your words. This is a powerful winter poem, my friend.

    1. I am so grateful to hear from you, thank you for taking the time to read and to soak it in and to tell me so. I was struck by my sister proclaiming the other day that she hates winter and thinks it is crazy that I have always accepted it and even celebrated this time of year. Her statement made me reflect on that reluctance as you describe. And, this photograph is of a very orange and yellowed leaf, my husband thought it did the photograph a disservice to strip it down to black and white but I could see no other way to express what is going on within the inside of this leaf and what it is going through knowing that winter is more than on its way.
      And yet, that soft light, finding its way into the photograph glinting and giving hope to the bleak outcome of such a beautiful leaf, such is the gift, always.

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