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Mid-Winter Morning

by Charlie Tarbell


Five-oh-five AM; fifteen degrees; darkness prevails

We pour our first cup of coffee, cherishing the bite of the bitter brew

Moonlight reflects off the new snow; winterscape refreshed with a new coat

A sprinkling of stars shines pinpricks through the southern sky


Weary wind, a remnant of last night’s storm, buffets the western shore

Trees begin to resolve from the darkness

Hills emerge on the horizon heralding the dawn

Daytime distills from the stormy darkness; a familiar view emerges from night


No birds; no noises; no signs of life

Silently, a sliver of pink light slides across the top of Stanwood Mountain

And slowly descends; Then gracing the peak of Bear Mountain, drifting down

Soon, the sun bathes the tippity-top of the pine trees on Starbird Point


In minutes, the western shore is illuminated; the sunlight seems to stir the wind

The wind whips snow squalls which march eastward across the ice

The sunlight stirs ice fog into ghostly peaks; we call them dementors

The snow squalls dance with the dementors and crash silently into the eastern shore


The sunlight’s increasingly warm glow spreads fire-like, across the lake

The apparitions dancing on the ice are graceful, fluid, and solicitous

The snowpack, toasted pink, appears warm, beckoning us outside

But we know better and, instead, pour another cup of coffee

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