09poem for books page /mb twj

Winter Solstice

It is the longest night of the year, she whispered to her grandson, when day carves itself out of the darkest night.

Your internal rhythm takes a breath and sighs,

Oh! it says to your soul,

Now we start over, we are


Headed for the light.

It does powerful things, she whispers to the grandson, his eyes wide with wonder at all the grandmother knows.

Your heart beat searches to match the rhythm

Of the earth as it leaves and breathes

Listen quietly, all is still...

Waiting, waiting for the darkness to end.

The sun struggles through the cold to shake off the blackness and works its way back to the morning, she says softly into his little ear

The birds and beats hold their breath,


the owls roost and the mice do not scurry about

Rabbits stay in their hutch

The deer lay under the evergreens...

Marking a new year by the heavens and the sun and the moon.

The grandson, who wonders at the wisdom in his grandmother’s voice, takes this into his heart and somewhere deep inside he will remember; remember long after the darkness is shorter than the light.

He will know to watch quietly,

And wait mindfully

On this special day and night of every new year,


Long after the grandmother’s voice is but an echo.

— Debi Neville

Debi Neville is a Rochester freelance writer. If you have an original poem you’d like considered for publication, send it to Jay Furst, managing editor, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or

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