Poem: Stores Left in Midwinter

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Stores Left in Midwinter

In the cellar, the stores are holding up.
Bags of flour. Baskets of sweet potatoes kept fresh
by cold and dark.

Most years, this late in February,
there would be little left, your reserves
drained by the need to stay alive,

and appetite. But you have learned
how to live with less. Not by design
but from an understanding of what you truly need

and what you don’t.

You have grown lean. Not a bad thing.
Your body feels younger, less broken,
more able, less like a thing pushed uphill.

Again, not by design. A lessening not of need,
but appetite.

So celebrate what is left. Enough. More than enough.
Reserves you had lost in seasons past,
somehow there in the midst of less.

About this poem

I have recently lost some weight. Not so much by design as by small changes.

It feels good.

But the poem is also about spiritual and emotional reserves. You know me, why write about one thing in a poem when you can write about three?

Tom

PS: The picture was taken at the Hancock Shaker Village in Mass.

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