First Day of Winter by Michael Northen

First Day of Winter
           after Jane Kenyon

Orange has fled the marigolds
Sparrows search the remains of sunflower heads.
Fresh bread fills the kitchen

And on the stove soup bubbles
from the last of the turkey bones.
Let winter come.

Ribbons and wrapping paper put away
What can be wrapped is wrapped.
What can be tied is tied.

After fall’s final flourish
What is there left to do
but let winter come?

All is in readiness.
Our heavy coats hang in the hall.
The cane leans by the door.

The husks that rattle in the furrows now
were resting in the corn we sowed in spring.
Let winter come.


Michael Northen is the past editor of Wordgathering, A Journal of Disability and Poetry. He was co-editor of the anthology Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, the disability short fiction anthology, The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked, and is currently editing a new anthology of disability poetry.

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