Instructions for Winter by Ted Genoways

Eagle, Alaska

You must private away a secret summer,
cached and fed by darkness like sourdough
in a larder, so that each noon numbered
in lamplight is matched by a midnight, yellow

with the slant of June. Against such permafrost,
you must toughen yourself on carrion;
you must fatten on summer—berries and moss—
to carry you across the windswept barrens.

Live—but remember the reason, source
and abyss where everything lives dies.
And when the first flakes swirl into drifts, hold

summer close and let winter run its course.
Curl in your den, sleep; and when you arise,
shoulder forth lean and perfected by cold.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=185&issue=4&page=34

Date: 2005

By: Ted Genoways (1972- )

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