Winter Etching, by Emily Jahn
There is no colour, but a rustic feel, a solitude. The little cottage house is mostly hidden behind rolling white hills which must be covered in thick snow. It looks so soft, like a pillow tucked up against the pine woods growing in a gentle slope to the pond. The sky is white and the family living there must have some kind of dog, probably a Labrador named Jasper or Pistol or Abraham Lincoln or something like that, and I’m sure they look up at the blank sky and maybe feel a little lost and probably they have electricity but also a wood stove and I’m sure the inside of the cottage smells like warmth and mahogany and gunpowder and heated milk and maybe even bread because I think it makes sense that they would make bread themselves, and also it makes sense that each window would have its own tiny candle burning in it so that the light flickers over the untouched snow nestled up to the cottage in just the right way to make one think of God. The pond must be frozen and maybe the folks that live in the cottage enjoy ice fishing and shoveling the snow off the pond so that their children can play ice hockey, or just so they can kneel on the bumpy surface and look at the bubbles that froze inside the layers of ice, wondering at how dark and still it is. Maybe they even climb the pine trees and get sticky resin all over their handsbut that’s OK because now their fingers smell sweet and musty and like serious things that stand up straight in the wind and the rain and the snow. They would light the pine in the grate and the smoke would drift up into the blank white sky - a forlorn dance that says in its twisting quietude: I came from where there is fire.
Emily Jahn is a poet, artist, and biologist educated at Northwestern University. She is from Illinois, and enjoys camping, hiking, and canoeing.
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