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Image by Mikk Tonissoo


New Year’s Eve morning on the northern coast
one room cabin on the edge of a continent
fog clinging to the rocky cliffs outside.

Breath hangs in the air above my blanket
manifestation of the comfort of warmth within
and the temporarily invigorating terror of cold.

Dark hearth absorbed both heat and light
when the pinewood fire burned out
leaving a world of shadow and grayscale.

Below my window, I see a family of seals
rising from the gray-green surf like dolphins
inspiring hope that I too am seen from above.

The chaos of our life has not yet begun
and shallow breathing signals I have little time
before the boys wake and the day is theirs.

With them I am shaping a new, but familiar role
like rain and wind eroding sandstone cliffs,
persistent insignificance toppling mountains.

I cannot prolong this cabin’s silence,
nor keep the new year from falling like sand
carving the future out of intentions.

Soon I will rise to light the stove for coffee
exposing myself to the morning’s crisp air
near as cold as the surf crashing below.

Until then, I’ll find comfort in knowing
the need for me is present, but still unseen
like the ocean surrounding us beneath the fog.

Matt Duffy lives on the Central Coast of California with his two sons.  He has previously had poems published in the Monterey Bay Poetry Review.  When not writing, he teaches high school social studies. 

1 Comment

  1. Amanda

    This is beautiful. I can smell and feel this familiar and wild place. Rain and wind eroding sandstone cliffs…life is beautiful and ever changing. Thank you for this gift.


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