To Every Thing There Is a Season

Poem by Kim M. Baker

Like Great Aunt Jovenella, Winter wraps herself around me,
pinches my cheeks in that warm Italian gesture of love,
and leans her big-bosomed hug into my face,
winding me with the force of her lusty embrace,
folding me into the harbor of her.
Maybe she thinks I rue her seasonal visits,
by the way I shiver and grimace and grouse
when she gusts in each December
all squirrels' nest hat and pine bough coat.
But secretly I sit in the window and wait, anticipate
the way she perfumes me with the earthy scent of leaf mold,
gathers me into her warm folds
of holly berries and snow banks,
how she whistles a melody of weathered limbs,
plays tag with my hat and skirt.
Near evening,
she races down the chimney to sit with my family by the fire
and blusters us with tales
of coyotes and owls prowling the dark,
then escapes to celebrate the solstice with those wild beasts,
paints the town crystalline,
bellows her brash laugh while I try to sleep.
And if we are lucky,
she blizzards the block blind at least once,
as we giggle and twist with delight of a day off.
She merrily pushes our sleds downhill,
fills us full of hot chocolate and snowballs,
buries us in angels and cherries our cheeks.
Then, suddenly, she looks melted down from all the frolic
as she dozes in a chair on a sunny afternoon, too sleepy
to sugar coat the forsythia or stiff the sheets on the line.
Sated and fresh out of gale,
she packs her satchel and waves goodbye,
grazing the grace of Cousin April come to spend the spring.

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When she isn't teaching the abundant virtues of the comma at Roger Williams University School of Law, writing poetry about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women. Her poems have been published online and in print and essays broadcast on NPR. Three short plays have been stage-read at Culture*Park in New Bedford.

Kim's first chapbook of poetry, Under the Influence: Musings about Poems and Paintings, is forthcoming in 2013 from Finishing Line Press.

Kim is currently working on a book of ekphrasis poems about the stories and portrayals of women in the paintings of female artists. Kim can be reached at

Click here to purchase book – ships March 9, 2013