Winter Nap

Because we just had more than a foot of snow dump on us here in Boulder (and I think there’s more coming), I thought I’d share this piece. It was written more than a few years ago while I was in college, while sitting in a coffee shop at a Kroger grocery store, watching the snow fall outside and my friend take a nap. 

 

snow on a bird bath

 

The snow falls outside. A sleeping face. Gentle twitching in the grey light. Ruffled red feathers on the branch. The feeder sees good business on these days. Chickadees move from branch to branch to feeder. Still only long enough to select the perfect seed. Everything is covered in a white powder, white, lightly frozen air. White cold. White nothing.

The face turns. Eyes flicker, remain closed. Warm socks, hot tea. All still, save the feathers, the snow. Heat inside, cold out. Soothing breath, calm, peaceful. Dark lashes, like feathers, on a lighter face. Deep footprints, shallower, filling imperceptibly. Cold magic. Large hands folded, resting. The snow piles higher. Red, blue, brown jostle for space. Chickadees are polite, waiting their turn. Cardinals come and go as they please, leaving the others to their mess. The snow falls sideways. It sticks to the side of buildings.

black-capped chickadee at feeder

Brown eyes open to the grey, the white, the cold. They close, a more comfortable position. The foot moves, subdued by eventual rest. Footprints are gone, colors are gone, only grey, only white. On the lee side of the feeder, feathers huddle, warm air trapped tight to bodies. Steady warm breath thaws the heart, the soul. The snow falls. Birds feed. Sleeping gently as the snow whispers its way down.

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