Honorable Mention Poetry: "December Moon"

by Wendy White Cleveland '70

We retired to the Deep South
with its switch grass and loblollies,
drawled talk in dogtrot houses,
winters without snow.
Nearing solstice, I survey fields
of spotty cotton balls
on battered stems,
not enough white to conjure
slopes of home.
As the Chattahoochee pulses
southward to the Gulf
the evening chill reminds me
of wood-smoked sweaters
and the moan of freezing water
ice jacking in sub-zero nights.
The December moon pulls me back
to Cayuga Lake and steep gorges,
drifts that swallowed roads,
short days and marrow cold
where we learned to hunker down,
lean into the wind and wait.

1 Comment

This poem was fantastic. I was born and raised in the South and still live here, and this poem really brings me back to what I loved so much about winters in Ithaca.