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Restless Winter Mind

My mind is restless most in winter
when the cold and sleet sting my skin like nettle.
Nostalgia for autumn’s wonder is joined
in my mind with spring’s promise
of plant and project anxious for beginnings.
Warm forced air blankets me as I stare
out the window on the brown pasture and planting beds
numb with a lattice of frozen crystals.
Whitetail and cardinal are my companions
during the short days that end like a favorite song.
Thoughts of the present seem as gossamer borne
as a cobweb broken loose from barn post.

Wrestling to capture and hold winter-thoughts
require concerted focus as they are often
displaced by images of green growing things,
thunderheads, and a network of lightning
erupting across a grey sky synapse like.
Fleeting are thoughts of preparation and repairs
conducted in a frigid workshop as steel tools
are cold and heavy in hand and loud in the ear.

Though I know winter is necessary, casual dread builds in me
after Thanksgiving and refuses to wane until supplanted
by blossoming crabapple and budding grape vine.
Though stocked pantry should salve me,
visions of that giant boiling yellow orb warming
my cheeks and shoulders bring pangs of yearning.
The memory of a sweat-soaked shirt;
the smell of finished compost feel as comforting
and luxurious as the finest mink and cologne.
To a fault my mind is other places most in winter.