January Photographs by Mary Dudley

January looms large-
a huge floe on the sea
of the early year.
Thick, translucent ice
under which the crocus sleep.

January mornings dawn
as a pink blush in a crystalline sky.
The sun warms as hours pass
but noon still glares, brilliantly cold.

January’s dusk descends early
and its sun burns orange and red
setting behind the bare-branched tangle
of the back-yard trees.

January’s cold thickens
as the world darkens:
It seeps under the door frame,
pushes us into the circle of
the warmest room,
hangs over the haven of our bed
like a cold fog
that morning won’t burn off.

January looms large—
a month to reckon with.

Mary Dudley has written poems since childhood. She studied poetry before moving to NM in 1968, and changing her professional focus to family and child development. She’s published two chapbooks and her work has been included in the Rag, the NM Center for Peace & Justice Newsletter and calendar, la LloronaSin Fronteras , and 200 NM Poems.

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