Winter's Pitch

The Otherworld Calls

Night has thrown its pall, yet the snowy fields glow from distant reflections; A memory of the day’s toil.

I step outside; a great horned owl’s throaty hoot greets me. Otherwise, the snow remains a silent witness to my heavy booted steps.

In this once field now meadow, I’m never alone. Always a field mice or rabbit burrowed nearby; Even a thirteen stripe ground squirrel or three have made their home here. And these two dogs, may they ever be nearby, dance in this darkened disco. Hoping to find a partner that suits their taste.

I stop to listen; my canvas hood, a snare drum, reverberates as icy snow percusses and sticks. I draw back my hood and listen for to the rests of this score.

On these late winter nights, silence settles amongst the trees. This is their time to whisper secrets. Gentle winds lift their voice. I almost hear them, but my ears are not once what they were.

To catch the silence, I step closer to the extending arms of a copse of white pines; each dressed in winter’s finest. Closer still. It’s thin dark needles hold their negation, deepening the recesses of its knotted trunk.

My heart quickens; Here is the veil. That portal to step beyond. The pale meadow behind or the deep promise of the forest realm?

Once more the great horned owl matches the pitch; a dark sticky promise of something more than wakeless morning work.

I feel a growing warmth. This is my way. I step once, my foot fall breaks the silence. And once more as my companions, with dance complete, bound close.

They know that where I go, they’ll go as well. I halt my third step; this is the one that seals it all.

The great horned owl again calls out. Not inviting but proclaiming that this is their night and their place. Not mine.

I want to pierce the darkness, but where once I was warm, I feel winter’s anesthetic sting.

“Home,” I say and we return to a place that also is not ours. Tomorrow will come and greet us with the drudge.