Poetry of Claire Hersom
Winter was the worst.
The farm windows iced inside, wind howled
down off the upper field; through the gauze
curtains it kissed our foreheads, noses buried
in featherbed crazy-quilts. Wooden spindle
framed our heads. It was too cold for ceiling mice.
We always had to pee just before dawn.
When the woodstove fire dwindled,
you could see your breath.
I’d poke my sister to come down the loft stairs
out to the three hole-r in the shed; an unbearable deed.
We’d pull on the crocheted slippers from Great Aunt Ann,
only holding heat for a few steps, down we went,
hands entwined, the flannel nighties hoisted up,
our little derrieres hovering; then jack rabbit quick,
back we went to snuggle while the snow stung the tin roof edge.