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Midwinter Muses for a Midwestern Poet

January 25, 2023

NOTE:  Although we have had a relatively mild winter by Milwaukee standards, we did have about three inches or so of snow today to give a pretty brightness to this gray winter.  On a shorter walk than usual this morning, Leader Dog Willow and I were blessed with snowflakes and enjoyed walking through the still unsalted, snowy sidewalks.  I was ready to build a snowman; however, after shoveling, I forgot all notions of crafting a snowman. 

                I wrote the following poem in November of 2022; this poem was a part of the December issue of the audio magazine NEWSREEL.  For additional information about NEWSREEL (a magazine to which I have subscribed since 1984), visit:

Welcome to Newsreel Magazine

Midwinter Muses for a Midwestern Poet

poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

In the midst of a long Midwestern winter,

poetry comes.

Yes, poetry comes

on the delicate lace of a snowflake,

midst the feathery wings of a snow angel,

but also in the stinging bites of sleet

around the snowdrifting barnyard.

Poetry also comes

beneath the streetlights of salt-covered sidewalks,

on the rosy cheeks of a happy child,

and under the big hat of a forever smiling snowman.

Still, still in the midst of a long Midwestern winter,

poetry comes.

Ah, yes, poetry comes

alongside the clear chimes of the cathedral bells,

in the snap of Jack Frost’s fingers,

upon the cutting sounds of gliding ice skates,

in the padded applause of mittened hands,

within the whirl of a wintry wind,

with the muffled laughter of sledders on a sloping terrain.

From the mesmerizing stillness of a below-zero night,

oh, at this midnight hour,

poetry has come

and has settled into my old wooden rocking chair,

is kept warm with this woolen afghan

beside which my Leader Dog Willow

softly sleeps.

* * *

May your January close with smiles, safety, and peace!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

January 25, 2023, Wednesday


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  1. Susan McKendry permalink

    Alice–This is a beautiful poem describing the beauty and challenge our winters bring. It was so nice to read this after putting down DRIFTLESS by David Rhodes. Before attending to email, I had to finish the chapter where a young farming couple were searching for their young children in a blizzard. I will say no more, not wanting to be a spoiler for anyone wanting to read this book. Thanks for your inspiration to face with a positive attitude our upcoming weather forecast!–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–Many thanks for your comment on this post!  I have heard about
      the novel DRIFTLESS, but have not yet read it.  I am glad to know that
      you are reading this book.  A little snow has been nice, but I am not
      looking forward to the 30-40 MPH winds predicted for Friday and then
      much colder temperatures over the following few days.

      Take care, and happy winter reading!

      Alice and Leader Dog Willow

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    It seems that winter is definitely coming your way today and for the next several days. Stay safe and warm and enjoy some cozy snuggles with Willow.
    Love, Mary

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