Monday, January 31, 2011

Waiting for the Ice Storm

and the aftermath of that, and my drive in to work tomorrow should be an Olympic event. Ever since the one terrible tornado and black ice incident in Alabama of all places, I live in fear of freezing rain, sleet, and automobiles. Odd that this Utah girl should be a chicken after her Alabama winter and not all of the years of blinding blizzards and snowfalls so heavy that they routinely brought down the trees that wore the enormous white parkas of them. Beautiful enshroudings, if deadly.

So I am homed-away and happy to be less sickly than the virus that made me feel all Victorian with its fevers and the coughing-up of blood. I meant to fan my hair out against the pillows and go out in a way of wretched rose petals.

I opted out of the AWP conference this year and today's weather forecast is the only thing to console me about not attending. The conference is one of those things like family that one loves and hates at various times, but that in the end, one feels more at home connected to than not. Tonight finds me listening to World Cafe and my beloved Old 97s on the radio and getting to anticipate seeing them in Cincy AND here in April. Also, Woody Pines maybe this Friday and I am hoping to talk M into the Josh Ritter show.

I am wishing I had finished my Cold, Cold... story in time for the deadline I imposed for it. I did get comments back from Kathrine for my novel pages and her comments were good and sound and make me want to get in and write. If I can get all of my classes planned out thoroughly and this little lit mag up and running, then I can justify such selfish indulgences as some writing and re-writing.

I have been assembling a kind of loose elegiac collection, very lyric and white-spaced. I think I am going to call it Pink Lady Apple, for now and see how it fits over time.

I post a bit of winter tonight to coordinate with the freezing rain that begins soon.
Deer, December

One of thirty nights I can't sleep
I awaken to motion in the last dark
out the window, tight against the hillside.
I put on my glasses to stop
the glass in the old house from wavering.

Three of them, maybe twenty feet away,
they nuzzle new snow,
leaves and twigs not yet frozen hard,
a poor diet, winter just begun.
Foraging, chewing, staring lines into space.
Their necks bolt upright only to the slight
shift in what I imagine is wind,
to things I can't hear, couldn't,
were I with them outside and not still
warm on the edge of the bed

Then a cardinal is winter
red against the even gray of 6 a.m.
—cloudy, this time of year. I'll stay watching
until I'm late for another morning meeting,
my alarm clock not gone off—that must be it.
I can't know how little I'll be missed.

Richard Terrill

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