Warmth

The season’s first fire.

Through the front room
And the kitchen
Is the smell of dust
Burning off of cast-iron stove top
And broad black pipe.

Home now after a week’s worth
Of Autumn tent camping,
Of shivering through nights,
And brisk morning walking,

Of cradling that first steaming cup
In glove-padded palms,
Feeling comfort seeping
Through purple yarn,

Of being warmed in the day
By oblique sunbeams
Slanting through golden cottonwoods,

But more by the company
Of fellow wordsmiths,
Offering up
The confections of our writing,
Passing around,
As a basket
Of morning muffins,
Of sweet danish,
And delicate cake,
Our thoughts and experiences,
Our humor,
And our deepest feelings.

Rubbing our words together
To kindle the flame of our creativity,
Warming the cavernous classroom
With ourselves.

But now,
The first breakfast in seven
Away from the long tables,
Away from the cheerful chatter
Of many artists,

Now at the quiet
Of my own writing desk,
Sitting beside me,
The first breakfast in seven
Not pulled from a cooler
Under a picnic table in the desert,

I relish the warmth of the fire
Of my husband’s company,
Of my canine workmate
Stretched out on the floor,

But I miss them,
The other wordsmiths
And look towards a time
When we will share our warmth again.

©2016 Annette Meserve

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