, Gloucester, MA


February 11, 2013

My View: Our winter's isolation

This is a time of year when we may expect moments of aloneness, even isolation.

This is an aspect of the human experience that can be most difficult, but, sometimes in a moment of deepest solitude, we may form a connection that inspires. This poem was inspired by such a moment.

A Gratitude for Chickadees

Snow all night

into morning,

my first time

snowbound alone.

I imagine the original winter,

waking to a landscape transformed,

the dazzling, terrifying purity.

What could possibly follow?

Pacing these rooms,

looking out windows

for a trace, a blemish, a print,

I catch a glimpse of wing,

chickadees come for the gleaming seeds

in the window feeder.

I see everything about them,

the bright eyes, the black caps,

the seeds held perfectly whole

in the slight beaks.

Stepping outside

in the huge quiet

of just snow,

I see

the drooping cedar,

laden with life

a recital of feathers,

pulses, quivers,

a hundred tiny tunes.

And I am the audience,


and dumb

and grateful.

Ruthanne “Rufus” Collinson is poet laureate for the city of Gloucester.

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