Day's End

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Day's End


Winter Retreat


The cabin rental is a gift from a friend, a place to mull over retirement. Tucked away in a spruce forest, I reach it after travelling miles on a 2-track road.

As I'm putting groceries in the fridge, I spot a note posted near the coffee maker: "Join the family – add your mug." The mugs are ceramic and glass, patterned and plain, large and small. I'm tempted to borrow the one with an elephant balancing on a red ball, but instead use my plastic travel cup.

On an afternoon walk, I happen on another mug collection hanging like ornaments in the branches of a birch tree. A cracked teapot rests nearby on a stone.

ice-crusted creek
the snap
of a brittle twig

Warming myself later by the stone fireplace, the guestbook informs me that the mugs in the tree are retired, belonging to friends who have not returned.

I drift off thinking of the teapot, sitting alone, as if waiting to be used.

new year's eve
candlelight flickers
on knotty-pine walls


R. Rasmussen, Bottle Rockets, #22, Winter 2010