June 24, 2018
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Rhyming in the New Year

Photo by Jonathan Wood | BDN
Photo by Jonathan Wood | BDN
By Robin Clifford Wood, Special to the BDN

I went out walking yesterday –

new crampons on my feet.

The well-timed gift gave me a way

to grip ground slicked with sleet.


A sheet of ice two inches thick

had blanketed December.

It was a trial, a Christmas trick

we all will long remember.


I tramp out back into the field

three dogs slip-sliding near me;

they splay their toes on ice congealed

but cannot anchor, clearly.


In spite of all our trouble, though,

I cannot help but see –

the ice-encrusted world of snow

is also heavenly.


The open stretches and the hills

are shiny like meringue;

I breathe in deep, my cold nose fills

with scent of wood smoke’s tang.


Each filament of twig and grass,

adorned with icy sleeve,

is capped with snow and gleams like glass

all bound in fragile weave.


But many suffer, well I know,

beneath this armored shell.

This heaven fantasy of snow?

For some, a scene from hell.


“We have no power,” many say,

and heat is necessary.

The roads are slick, limbs block our way

and even walking’s scary.


“We’re in the dark,” “Mom took a fall;”

“An accident’s reported.”

“We planted trees and lost them all;”

“Our generator shorted.”


But still I cannot help but see

when walking in my field,

that nature’s frozen fantasy

is like a gift revealed.


The beauty takes my breath away

and I must pause and stare,

as sparkling diamond tree boughs sway

and crackle in the air.


How do we reconcile these two

opposing comprehensions?

At once, two different points of view

demand our brain’s attentions.


It strikes me that this icy strife

is like a mock rendition

of every aspect of our life’s

perpetual condition.


A New Year starts for us today;

it’s time to look ahead,

and we can choose the hopeful way

or cloak our minds with dread.


Our government’s embattled state

will muddle on as ever,

and global wars may not abate

despite our best endeavor.


We’ll fight against injustice

with our webs of information,

and refuse to let grief bust us

even faced with desolation.


Our little globe is fraught with icy,

treacherous terrains,

but even when life’s dicey –

its magnificence remains.


The glory and the burdens all

inhabit us together.

We must decide that we’ll install

equipment for all weather.


As we go forth, as this New Year

reveals its rising dawn,

see beauty when it does appear,

and keep your crampons on.


Robin Clifford Wood wishes all readers a very happy holiday. She welcomes feedback at robin.everyday@gmail.com.


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