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Refuge

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Black tea

White snow

And the earthen rests of each

Make up the scale of this quiet day

Retreating from the cold blowing

Of thoughts titled “Can” and “Can-Not,”

I steeped, then poured

Then sat at the kitchen table

Watching thick flakes fall,

The laggards of the bunch

How simple, this clearing came

Swiped down like a pine

Beneath the axe of some flannel-clad viking

While I can sit here and imagine

The bright warmths are beautiful,

But it is the dark warmths that love

The blanket, the socks,

The ruddy cup of tea

Beating ceramic against my fingers

I sit here, drinking the dark,

Watching the light fall like stars

And put myself at ease

Between them

benjam1@stolaf.edu