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Closing the Cabin for the Winter
Patricia Wellingham-Jones


Pine shadows stripe the blacktop,
vine maples spill gold on the road,
willows dance orange tangos in the breeze
as we drive to the lake in late October.
Our voices skim across whitecaps, disappear.
Squirrels chatter, dig pine nuts out of cones.
Jays demand sandwich scraps
the year is too old to provide.
On the far shore a loon pulls down a rain cloud.
We hear the slap of rising waves on the shore.
Lightning slashes through steamy black wool,
insects shrill their alien tongues.
Around us the air explodes with sound.
The storm breaks over our heads
like soup bowls thrown at a wall and I
want to cower with the dogs under the bed.
Next morning with pipes drained, windows shuttered,
we leave in the first sprinkles of snow.
The mountain prepares itself for winter—
lake black in the coming cold, voices silent.

This poem first appeared in abovegroundtesting (2005).
Used here with permission.


Patricia Wellingham-Jones lives on a creek in rural northern California where she enjoys writing about the things that happen around her – past and present. A retired RN, psychology researcher, and editor/writer/publisher, she has a special interest in healing writing. Patricia is the author of numerous chapbooks, including End-Cycle: Poems about Caregiving, Alyssum Asylum: Poems about Gardening, and Hormone Stew. Most recently, her poems are featured in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press).






Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Beautiful imagery.
Posted 10/28/2020 07:35 PM
I can relate to wanting to "cower with the dogs under the bed." As usual, your poetry is full of wonderful imagery.
Posted 10/28/2020 12:48 PM
"The storm breaks over our heads like soup bowls thrown at a wall" That sudden, intense burst of rain is very much like that!
Posted 10/28/2020 12:19 PM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Such a beautiful tribute to an ending.
Posted 10/28/2020 10:22 AM
Posted 10/28/2020 10:19 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this powerful picturesque poem. I can see, feel, hear and taste this poem. I was riveted from the first line to the last.
Posted 10/28/2020 10:01 AM
Beautifully evocative.
Posted 10/28/2020 08:55 AM
michael escoubas:
This poems surrounds us with the colors and sounds of seasonal decline and yet the poem exudes joy and hope. So well done, Patricia . . . congratulations.
Posted 10/28/2020 08:46 AM
Nice images.
Posted 10/28/2020 08:01 AM

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