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Mitchell Hagerstrom











A translucent layer of silver coats every tree
limb, every pine needle and blade of grass.
Power’s out. To warm the house the oven
door’s propped open, and on top something
stew-like set to simmer.

Blanket-draped, huddled in sweats and sweaters,
hands wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate,
I read Fawn Brodie’s Jefferson by window-light,
knowing the land outside was once purchased
at Napoleon’s firesale.

If deer season’s over, why do I hear these spooky
sounds of gunfire? Perhaps it’s hallucinatory
echos of a Civil War battle fought nearby.
No, it’s merely the snap of tree branches,
burdened by their silvery weight.

Toward dusk, I venture out into the icy Nordic
fairyland to find the driveway’s now impassable,
barricaded by a long row of broken pine saplings
whose raw flesh perfumes the air with the startling
scent of oranges.

December 30, 2016 9:13 am

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