Poem: Fires Taller than Tractors

Poem: Fires Taller than Tractors

The weather here, they tell me, is greyer
than other states. A gentle never-ending almost light,
that slowly drains the light from the heartiest souls,
So we drink. We fall into funks. Things fall apart
in the cold. People, mostly,
though no one talks about that darkening of spirits.
We just hunker in our igloos and wither alone,
hoping to survive until spring, so normal,
too normal. Snow again, beautiful but never quite bright,
never quite the stuff of postcards, “wish you were here.”
But really we don’t. It is too dark here for guests.

It is your twelfth season here
and you have never managed to accept the color of the season
as normal. It is, as all darkness is, something to fight,
a place to stack firewood higher than tractors
and light fires.
Big fires, bright and towering. Definant.
Fire that melts snow for yards around it,
Fire that singes hair. Lights the skin golden brown.
Fire that burns blue-white, yellow, orange
and can be seen for miles. A beacon:
“Come! The season need not be dark.
Come.”

About this poem.

Vermont in winter is one of the greyest places in the country during the winter. We have an extraordinarily high alcoholism rate in the winter. Other issues around depression abound here too. I love the place, but those are part of the landscape when you dig deeper than the first layer of snow.

A poem of fighting depression. A poem of faith. A poem of defiance. A poem of making our own light when there is none to be found.

The picture was taken nearby, on the way to my favorite diner.

Tom

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