Winter Solstice – Jan Bailey

 WINTER SOLSTICE                        

          for Jeb                      

 The full moon floats in a cauldron
of white. Along the bank, birches
snatch at the boy as he skates
the pond, dizzy with speed. His
mother clings to the sidelines
where the ice is more transparent,
where she can judge the depth
by twig and frozen leaf while he
lunges far ahead, arms pumping the
air, his wide satchel of days
strapped to his shoulders
like gold he bears into the future.

 Up and down the pond, sequined 
with late snow, he shapes his
crazy 8s, all boy grin and wide
eye, lean as the trees and tall
weeds that ting their ice capade.
And she knows in her heart
she will lose him, glance up
from the fringes to find him
erased, absorbed into light like
a shadow, she loved and released.

 Jan Bailey

2 thoughts on “Winter Solstice – Jan Bailey

  1. JAN- what a gorgeous poem! I felt liek Iwas flying (identifying more withthe boy launching thatn the Mom anticipating the leaving?) anyway- wehhoep to be in Monhegan this spring- I wnat to write with you again! Please contact me I lost your phone number.
    Love to Billy, Love from Alan, D’vorah

  2. The moon floating in a cauldron –

    I missed the “cauldron” image the first time, but I’m glad I found it the second time. To me cauldrons are where spells are brewed. They boil and bubble, toil and trouble. The indicate something about to change and a degree of uncertainty that seem so important to the poem. But the cauldron is tucked between a “full moon” and “white,” both more pleasing images to me. Together the images capture the bittersweet moment so well. Yeah!

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