Lana Hechtman Ayers, Window in Late January

Window in Late January

Snow today in this place
where it doesn’t often snow.
Wet flakes blow sideways,
leaves on the salal flipping
like pages in some urgent book
writ with forgotten wisdom,
and the far-off fir and cedar
bristle their branches
wistfully as if hung with the wet
laundry of soldiers returned home
from a long war, that like all
wars, cannot be won.
A dishwater sky mutes
sun’s rays to gray, the hills
leading to the pass forested
in haze, drained of green.
The beach path’s untrodden.
The sea crests cold foam
for no one—not man, nor hound,
nor soaring gull, nor majestic eagle.
Though a steady bluster, the wind
musters nothing but silence.
The plodding sound of melt
drip, drip, drips
from the askew rusted rain gutter
outside my purview.
Perhaps, I have all my life been
too much in love with sadness.

Lana Hechtman Ayers has shepherded over eighty poetry collections into the world in her role as managing editor at three small presses. She lives in an Oregon town of more cows than people. Visit her online at

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