Winter’s Valley

Valleys are good at catching water, the Skagit
among them,
the hard rain, incessant, some winters,
this winter, sogging our spirits,
the sudden break-through of light only a tease,
to remind us of what, for the moment, is not,
slogging our way through yet another gray day,
compensating the best we can,
some to Arizona or Palm Springs,
the rest of us taking it in stride, laughing
more than usual,
shaking off our umbrellas and any dark thoughts,
spreading out our wet coats and minds
to dry the faster,
in the warmth of our homes and imagination’s
for this winter’s very saturation brought its own gift,
if for a minute, no tease this time,
the short stubs of the cornstalks sticking up in rows
above the flooded field, soaked through,
and then some, by now,
suddenly alit by the sun’s unexpected show,
each stub sharp and bright against the gray,
turning the valley into a field of diamonds,
changing everything,
The winter’s gray now aglow
in a diamond-studded overture to spring,
and escape to a dryer clime
found in the heart’s
own illumined warmth.


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