December Brushstrokes (46)

//December Brushstrokes (46)

December Brushstrokes (46)

Planets aren’t supposed to twinkle,
But Venus, low on the horizon,
Has wrapped itself in glittering glass,
Sparkling a thumb’s width below Saturn.

When the photo arrives in the mail
From a distant cousin’s distant cousin,
The old house looks little as it does now,
Festooned with a milliner’s ivy hat.

The old dog goes lame, and the X-rays
Show cancer. Twelve years is a lifetime
For a large breed. There’s no comfort.
When she dies, part of us is gone.

The smell of smoke in December air.
Is it true, that a tree can catch flame?
It seems so unlikely, dripping green with
May rain, each leaf slick and silver-wet.

The road disappears into the gray sky.
We know it’s not so, telling ourselves
It’s only an illusion, recalling fairytales
Where boys climbed above the clouds.

By | 2019-12-23T22:07:01-05:00 December 9th, 2019|Farm|4 Comments

About the Author:

Forrest Pritchard is a full-time sustainable farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding a BA in English and a BS in Geology from William & Mary. Smith Meadows, his farm, was one of the first “grass finished” operations in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in the Washington DC area for two decades. Pritchard's books have received starred reviews from The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, NPR, and more.


  1. Eliot Brenner December 10, 2019 at 9:45 am - Reply

    most excellent.

    • Forrest Pritchard December 10, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, this was my week in review!

  2. Caroline Klam December 10, 2019 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Thank you so much – I look forward to the new poem every week and I savor them until the next one arrives – I hope you keep going past the end of the year. Peace, Caroline

    • Forrest Pritchard December 10, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Thanks Caroline. This started as a tribute to Mary Oliver’s passing, and I had planned to do 52… one each week. We’ll see where the new year takes us! I appreciate the encouraging feedback.

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