Shutting out the night
by Maralee Gerke

I sit cross-legged in a quiet room
an open book in my lap forgotten,
and stare through the darkening window

while the frail winter day
yields to the heavy march of night.
Shadows lengthen and the distant trees

become silhouettes then disappear and
frozen flowers broken and naked
are all that is visible.

The glazed snow glows with its
own light as if sleeping volcanoes
deep underground give it an internal glow.

Footprints of shadow deer reveal a sodden path
an opening, a way to see farther
in the darkness of solstice

I am uneasy on these long nights.
Stilled by snow, winterís songs are frozen,
muted lyrics heard through smothered ears.

I force my eyes back to the page
that I realize I have read before
reach up and lower the shade.

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