Winter Heat

by Sierra Golden

Months after the neighbors piled their firewood
tall as the windows, wide as the house, and strung
brown plastic between the pine trees, protecting
their winter heat and blocking my view,

it snows, and in the morning, the tarp-tented
heaps of uncut logs appear suddenly beautiful.
Just a fine shake of flakes shining in the sun,
tree-drips pattering on plastic, and I am in love

for a moment, thinking, Is this how a poem happens?
One day I sit in bed past any reasonable hour,
and finally stop thinking about the neighbors
stealing my view, about everything needing doing

or undoing: the dishes, my taxes, the mess I made
with my exes. Seeing the sap-leaking stacks of wood
as if for the first time, some part of me collapses—
maybe my work ethic? Personal aesthetics?

Moral standards? Whatever it was, wherever it stood
inside me opens, letting in what little light there is.

From The Slow Art. Bear Star Press, 2018.

Read this and other poems by Sierra Golden in The Slow Art, available for purchase online.

Ialways try to be on the lookout for moments of sudden attention in my life, like the one Sierra Golden describes so vividly in “Winter Heat.” Like her, I believe this is how a p