Laurie Rosen

Stick Season 

After the autumn leaves fall

and before the snow

blankets the ground

Vermont descends

into shades of grey and brown.

Even the evergreens seem muted.

The sun hangs low in the sky.


Some days we wake

to frost and smatterings of snow,

to wind and cold showers.

Still, the naked trees dance

across the dreary landscape,

sensual and strong.

In these darker days

the white birch bark

reveals itself

and views of the distant hills

open wide.


We squeeze in one last hike,

one more dinner from the grill.

A walk or two around the hollow

before the road turns to ice

and we’re compelled to fasten

spiked cleats to our boots,

like chains upon our tires,

to get us up the long hill home.