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Image by Kelly Sikkema

January Morning

Fifteen below is normal
this time of year
but it still reaches some deep part
of my soul, reminds me
how fragile it all really is.

I open the bedroom blinds.
Each pane wears a layer of ice
that starts to weep
as soon as warm air hits it.

Outside blue jays sit
on branches, look in
to ask “Where’s breakfast?”
When I feed them,
the cold fear
that wraps my heart


Old French word for “stuff”

Going through my stuff
causes a kerfuffle,
puffs of dust assail me.
I cough, examine scuffs
on cups and saucers,
polish and buff,
put things up for sale.

Memories and common sense
engage in fisticuffs.
Winter’s bad enough
without a task this tough.

Things to do on New Year’s Day

look at seed catalogs
write a poem about tulips
have a glass of wine with lunch
resolve to be like Betty White
clean out a closet (maybe)
change sheets to start the year fresh
feed blue jays fortune cookies
left over from take out all year long
thaw out a pecan pie to remind you
You ARE going south this year
eat celery to offset the pie
watch the sun go down
in clean slate of sky
go to bed with a good book
dream of happiness and health

Jan Chronister lives in rural Maple, Wisconsin and spends retirement writing and gardening. Her most recent full-length collection Decennia was published by Truth Serum Press in Australia. Please visit janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com for more about Jan.


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