"What Belonged/To Winter": Seasonal Poems from the Adroit Archive / by Amanda Silberling

By Amanda Silberling, Blog Editor

“Continual” by Giulia De Francesco, Issue 8, The Adroit Journal

Continual” by Giulia De Francesco, Issue 8, The Adroit Journal

It's that time of year again – the time when we lie in bed and stay in our pajamas until 4 PM reading all of the books we never got a chance to read earlier in the year. Okay, maybe we're the only ones who stay in their pajamas all day. But that's irrelevant. We don't want to share our lazy holiday habits with you, but we do want to share these poems. We took a look through the Adroit archive to find some excellent poems to get you in the wintry mood, whether you choose read them in your pajamas or not. 

"Four Elements" by Marie Gauthier (Issue Five)

On the stovetop, cocoa melds 
with condensed milk in a pot 
warming on the burner. 

Small economies: how the sun 
weakens in December, bows 
to evening before the end 

of afternoon.

"The Ordained" by Jacques J. Rancourt (Issue Eight)

If God were a season

then he would surely be winter, would ground
by starvation, by frostbite, he would bate

in pairs. [...] 

I gave my soul to God but he wanted

my body. I gave to winter what belonged
to winter. The rest I cut free with a knife.

"Ode to a Skeleton Key" by Bruce Bond (Issue Six)

Once I saw you as the silent tongue 
in the bell of lamplight above my bed 
and thought, how strange to have any other, 

or locks for that matter, though even then 
you betrayed only the oldest closet, 
the dark no greed or anger would disturb. 

"Midwinter" by Richie Hofmann (issue nine)

reflected like a sequin, like summer even,
though it was New Years Day, and the world

was dusky, and the dog, the house, the woods, the books—
they weren’t even ours.

"In Another Life" by Ruth Foley (Issue Four)

You have been alive for the past 
thirty years. You prefer the ocean 
to the mountains. You have let your hair 
grow long again, and tie it back when 

the babies come to visit. You had more 
children, and they had children. In 
the winter, they come to your house to sled 
on the hill that leads out of your woods. 

"Late Winter Parallax" by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson (Issue Two)

So many limbs, the sturdy hemlock
and this silent mimicry. They sleep
just out of reach. I reach
breathless at their breathing – such gestures,
the stretched neck, the seeking after.