Fifth Day of a New Year
Michael Czarnecki
January 5, 2002

African music on the radio, boys sleeping, Carolyn reading a novel on the futon behind me. I sit at the new used desk I bought earlier today from the Salvation Army. Wood top, metal sides, drawers that slide smooth and easy. Finally a solid, spacious setting for the computer, printer, my paperwork. As the music plays I tap fingers on wooden desktop. A pleasant percussive sound I didn't envision when purchasing. Hollow resonation when tapping above empty chair space below. Solid heaviness where drawers lie underneath. A functional desk - a makeshift drum - all for $10.99!

I step away from the desk for a moment to put another chunk of firewood in the heating stove - seasoned oak from trees cut in the woodlot a couple of years ago. The old Kalamazoo wood cook stove is now cool - hours after supper - hours till breakfast fire and hot coffee. The oak chunk I placed in the heating stove will burn for hours.

Another year has passed. Snow once again covers the ground. Hairline recedes a little more, white hairs infiltrate my beard. Earlier today Carolyn moved hay mulch, dug a few carrots out of the ground. Crisp fresh sweetness in early January. Jars of tomatoes, pickles, beans line shelf in cupboard. Seed catalogs arrive daily in the mail. A continual turning of seasons, cycles, lives. One year behind, another gathering steam. My boys sleep soundly in their room as I soak up warmth from stove and gaze out window into the dark winter night.

sudden gust of wind
glass pane on front door rattles
mouse scratches in wall

Michael Czarnecki's writes various forms of poetry. Information and some of his work can be found on his webpage.