Midwinter Night, Solstice December 21 2019

Fairbanks winter solstice, courtesy University of Alaska

What People Mean

Cousin Anne writes that the light that generally accompanies visitations has been seen at the Nighthawk cabin recently.

Midwinter sunset rolls out the red carpet for our mother

and midsummer dawn casts a gold path for our father

and the world they travel turns parallel to ours.

Transparent but visible, it overlays us,

think of 3-d lines in a comic book. 

Lightly, they embody themselves here, now,

their hands like clear latex gloves sheathing my hands.

Now we are dunking a pinwheel cookie, family recipe,

in a chipped mug with reheated coffee

and when I get up to light the candles

my mother’s hands cover mine and she shows me how

how to hold the match and strike away,

how to smooth with our hand a white cloth

where we’ll lay our ritual winter feast.