One of the greatest gifts my parents and grandparents gave to me as a girl was the gift of walking. Of taking strolls along sandy roads at dusk, watching bats and stars appear. And hours-long rambles through rolling fields and woodlands—ears tuned to the drum of woodpeckers, eyes following threads of light among stands of hardwoods or pine. These walks wove the senses, and patterned the language that would eventually make poems from such experience. 

One of these poems is “Walking into Winter.” Included in my forthcoming book, The Open Gate: New & Selected Poems, it seemed a fitting piece to also offer to you all now, as the late November days begin to darken early and the last wild seeds are being cast to the wind. It’s a time of letting go, and of gathering in. 

Below, you can read “Walking into Winter,” listen to an audio clip as I read the poem aloud, and watch a brief movie of butterfly-weed pods opening in our field. As we journey into this winter season, may we each carry light and warmth within, tending the seeds that will sprout again come spring.

Listen as the author reads her poem:

Watch butterfly weed seeds in the breezy field at St Brigid Press. This native species of milkweed is slowly expanding on our land, providing food for insects.

If  you are in the area, please join us for the official book launch this coming Sunday, December 3rd, at 2pm, at Black Swan Books (Staunton, Va.). We'll have light refreshments, read some poems, and celebrate together.

If you can't attend, you may pre-order the book on our website here: