She feels January in her joints,

her bones a built-in bellwether

to barometric bounces. To forget, she points

to a metal birdhouse out the window, red/yellow/

blue, with last summer’s sticks stick-

ing out—it’s true!—from a surprised tin mouth. O!

Like my mother’s delight in watching aerial tricks

as tiny bodies winged in and out.

The H | O | M | E welcome, now draped in snow.

Mom rubs knuckles and knees, to take

her mind from her aches, her pleas

for summer to get here, quick! I compare

how our friends feathered a once-hard abode,

layering comfort leaf by leaf, soft as an easy chair.

Ann Kathryn Kelly lives and writes in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. She’s an editor with Barren Magazine, a columnist with WOW! Women on Writing, and she works in the technology sector. Ann leads writing workshops for a non-profit that offers therapeutic arts programming to people living with brain injury. Her essays have appeared in a number of literary journals. https://annkkelly.com/

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