Art of the Week: PRAYER TO WINTER by James P. Lenfestey

Credit: Amy Durr


James P. Lenfestey

White earth, and ruins, ourselves, and nothing beside.
— D. H. Lawrence

Do not abandon us!
We who fear your fury
love your coverlet of snow.
We who cower at the bus stop
love the ice beneath our skates.
We who daily deplore your omnipotence
weep at your unseasonable melting.

We will push our skis uphill for you,
chain our tires, jump our batteries,
scarf and beard our cheeks,
bury the curves of our bodies
for you.

And we will shovel
until the rhythm of our shoveling
exalts us in your presence.
Until the stroke of our blade
And the smoke of our breath
blows honest and pure, until
the Niagara of our nose is frozen,
our muscles sinewy and warm,
and we burst through the door
with an explosion of stomping
and clapping, throwing open
ourselves, yelling, “I’m
home! I’m home!”

Do not abandon us,
as we
have abandoned you.

Reprinted with permission from Seasons of the Urban Coyote, by James P. Lenfestey, Nodin Press, Copyright 2021

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