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It’s so cold on this January morning
the condensation in the corner of each window
has frozen to the glass, cannot be wiped away.
But the wood stove’s lit and breathing
like an animal asleep, giving off its heat.
I think of all the losses of this past year
as beads on a necklace that keep falling off,
the empty string still tied around my neck.
And yet—two of the most beautiful words
in the English language—sudden gratitude
rises up with each creak of the floorboards
and swoop of the barred owl from tree to tree,
for staying alive to all this, even the blank
face of the silent phone, even the restless hours
before dawn, my eyes working much harder
yet still somehow able to see through the dark.
Copyright 2023 James Crews
James Crews (Storey Publishing)