Country Life Lessons: #7

In summer-heat forethought, we pile
wood on the screened porch, for the stove fire
we winter-huddle close beside, cocooned.

Snow obliterates the road, maroons us.
Drifts blend to horizonless sky-gray, seal doors.
Only Black Angus islands color the fields.

The dog, impatient and with more fortitude,
presses through his door, leaps, a breaching whale
in undulating whiteness. Digs nose tunnels,

sniffs mice, chipmunks, sleeping ground hogs
he hopes to capture, drugged into inattention
by body heat and cave-smooth cold.

Fascinated by the mole-like moving snow ridge
we watch, faces fogging windows, the dog’s eccentric
progress. He surfaces, shakes, then dives again,

seeks rocks and sticks not frozen fast
to the ice-locked earth. Tosses one
he has worried loose, high in the air.

It disappears, buried like our idyllic fancies
of easy country quiet life with time to read
and write. Instead we too must venture out,

chop icicles from sagging eaves,
haul water, hay to stranded cows. Wait,
for the drip of spring thaw, the first frog.

By Linda J. Himot
published in The Highlands Voice, July 2012