I awoke to find a layer of frosted white. A soft fuzzy coat on December everything. The shiny new metallic of the tin roof. The freshly stained poplar of the picnic table. Coating each blade of grass. Filling the hollowed crevice of every crunchy fallen leaf. I stood at my bedroom door drinking in this freshly frozen scene. The sun was waking–a hazy lemon orb tucked gently within gauzy layers of sky. Soon it would warm all this delicate fuzzy white away. Soon I would be dressed and driving, caffeinated and at the command of societal shuffling.
Yet here everything hummed along in tune, tucked away together in this frozen embrace. No forceful antagonist revealing itself– at odds with another, upset at the current conditions. Wanting, begging, demanding more. No one object attempting to exact itself as the commanding officer over the other less hostile inhabitants. No evident struggle in whose qualities were righter or wronger, weaker or stronger. No, in this moment, the world was soft, un-wanting, effortless.
My hand reached toward the golden doorknob separating animal me safely away. I turned it hard and to the right, stepping over the threshold, wrestling my pack through the door frame behind me. I wondered how far I’d walk before I became as soft and still…
*This poem is available in my book Soft With Me, printed and bound in Western North Carolina thanks to a grant from the N.C. Arts Council.