What Keeps you Warm? A Prayer for Late Winter

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

In the cold,
dark,
dreary,
loneliness
of February,

I am kept warm.

By the taste of last season’s tomatoes in my salsa
and strawberries spread over fresh baked yeast and whole wheat flour.

By the monotonous moves of my knitting needles,
                and blue ink on paper writing love letters to elders.

I am kept warm.

By the bird feeder. Who could be lonely
                when there is such a feast and party of such magnificent color and sound
                outside my window each morning?
                Good morning chickadee and nuthatch. Good morning cardinal.

I am kept warm.

By the quilt upon my bed
                stitched by the hands of many women
                who kept hand cut squares of my mother’s flowering dress warm
                after her body had grown cold.

I am kept warm.

By the woodstove
                where I sit each morning with match
                and watch until
                the log I’ve loved and labored with
has caught.
It dances in heat
                and I linger a little too long
                on bended knee
                watching as if to pray.

I am kept warm.

By my children
                who ask me to crawl under their covers
               and hold them til the
                monster that eats their toes
                has crawled back under their bed.
                This year has brought monsters
                with viruses and fear,
                distanced and masked.
                Yet they have survived,
                                yet they have thrived.

I am kept warm.

By resting in her arms.
               Back and forth we spoon
                all night in a dance
                we’ve done these thirteen years,
                so ordinary and yet a miracle.

I am kept warm.

And then the snow begins to fall
                and is caught by the moon.
                I breathe in the cold air,
                I am alive.
                And beneath my feet deep under the soil,
a daffodil bulb shifts,

and I am kept warm.

2 thoughts on “What Keeps you Warm? A Prayer for Late Winter

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