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A Touch of Winter

There's that seasonal time, an overlap, when roses are clinging yet fading, and when the wind has a bite. Under one's feet the leaves are dry and they crunch at each step. In that moment it's summer, autumn, and winter all at once. I wrote this poem after walking at the Morton Arboretum one November.

The poem "Taking Stock" is from my book Clinging to Purple Heaven (copyright 2020).

Taking Stock

I’ve come to say hello to the prairie grasses,

Silver Feather Grass, swaying plumes,

pale and dry, rustling beside

the bushes buried in snow,

the Coral Beauty, the Cotoneaster,

its dark green ivy-like leaves

and lustrous red berries.

One plant waving me to come hither,

the other holding the weight of winter.

Feather Reed Grass stalks

shoot straight up from a big clump

within a thick green base.

Much like this Tansy clinging

to green thoughts of spring flowers,

its dried brown pods

on veritable stems.

Hasta la vista to the hostas,

my Sum and Substance

chopped and buried down.

Grounds cleared

but Stonecrop florets

full of hints of pink,

and perhaps a faint hum.

Past foragers?

It’s the whip of the wind.

Oh, for the Carefree Sunshine Rose!

Tall green plants barely touched

by snow, curving limbs

flaunting numerous shiny thorns


winter’s cold face.


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