A City Girl In The Country 1996

A City Girl In The Country


During winter I become an excellent cook.

I sit a lot and stand and look

At lake and forest that surround

The house on sides and front, the sound

Of birds calmed down somewhat,

As if they shared a counterplot

And changed their visit-timbre because

Ducks and geese have flown away.

The wagtail’s winter pause

Has taken him to Egypt.  Now it’s peace

That takes the air.  I walk

Much more without the need

To look in shops.  I wear my tweed,

My well-worn tweed, as if it were

High fashion.  In the winter

It is I who see an elk or deer

Before the hunters of next year;

I who get the benefit, burning up the calories

By walking through the snow to fetch

The post in minus two degrees;

I who never ‘kvetch’*

About the cold, dark living deep inside a forest

More than compensated by

A rose that never saw a florist,

Plums that I saw multiply,

Light that’s guaranteed to start

Increasing just when winter’s heart is coldest.

Here I learn to be alone – to face ennui,

The power cuts, the threat that lightening

Brings direct to my existence –

Without asking for assistance,

Keeping in a large-ish stock

Of matches, paper, wood and candles;

Knowing that to blow the rock can make a well;

Leaving on the radio to keep out vandals

When I go, will work quite well.

Everything in miniature:

Death, when summer-folk kill flies and gnats;

Love, each time I watch the cat’s

Abilities: clearing heights, breadths where I gasp;

Survival, when I’ve rescued creature from his grasp;

Cities blurred, just name and word,

Their essence shallows by the nearness

To an earth my ear has heard.


*kvetch Yiddish for ‘complain’.


A City Girl In The Country 10.19 .1996

Circling Round Nature; Swedish Book;

Arlene Corwin






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