Cover the winter crops, bok choy, cabbage,
and kale. Let the other beds fall fallow.
Burn fires. Hold out your fingers to the warmth.
Watch the logs crackle, the flames change colors.
Spread ash over soil. Spread birdseed on lawn.
Watch the robins return, peck through pond ice.
Savor soup and bread. Sleep when it is dark.
Spring will come, but for now, let yourself rest.
Keri Withington is a poet, educator, and aspiring homesteader. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, recently including anthologies from White Stag Publishing. She has published two chapbooks: Constellations of Freckles (Dancing Girl Press) and Beckoning from the Waves (Plan B Press). Withington lives with her husband, three children, and four fur babies in the Appalachian foothills. You can find her teaching Zoom classes for Pellissippi State, planting in her yard, or on FB (@KeriWithingtonWriter).