Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23

This morning the sky is gray and the west wind blusters. The landscape is winter brown but now and then a flake of snow blows by the window. Except for the wind, the neighborhood is quiet. Today will be a day in the kitchen. Even for the two of us, I like to bake and cook for Christmas. I plan to make rolls from a recipe for Seven Grain Bread. Using the seven or eight grain cereal is a way to add a variety of grains to bread without buying specialty flours. I also decrease the seeds on top and bottom by quite a bit. That amount just fell off - everywhere. A warm kitchen on a cold day is a comfort. Walking today will require layers of wool and a will to face the wind.   

Late in August a Carolina Wren appeared in our yard. I first heard her beautiful but unfamiliar song in the back yard. I couldn't see the bird but knew I had never heard the song. A few days later the wren visited the bird feeder and I identified it. This little wren hung around through the autumn and because the species isn't usually seen in southeast Nebraska, her presence seemed like a gift. Eventually I wrote this poem for my Christmas cards. (Poetic license lets me identify the bird as a female. The markings for male and female are similar.)

And so, to wish you all a wonderful holiday and a better new year, I post it here. 

Carolina Wren *

November 24, 2020 

A dusty bit of fluff in a striped

mask shelters in the birch.

A warbler from the old world, this little bird,

a Carolina wren, even her name a melody.

Rusted weathered wings

the color of tea in my Mother’s cup.

Pert tail lifted against the wind

that blew her off course, off kilter.

I cannot ask her to stay,

this summer song.

The way forward is far. But

at the edge of the horizon,

a change in the wind, 

a glimpse of hope. 

*Copyright Jane A. Wolfe


  1. Beautiful poem, Jane! So lovely! I love your photo of that little feisty wren too! We have them here and I love watching their antics! Happy Holidays to you!

  2. I'm glad you are enjoying Christmas Eve Eve baking in your warm kitchen, and thank you for the gift of your lovely poem. Watching the birds at my feeders is becoming one of the highlights of my day, and I will think about them as glimpses of hope. I hope you and your husband enjoy a wonderful holiday season and I wish only the best for you (and all of us) in the new year.

  3. What a lovely poem Jane! Wrens are some of our favorite birds around here (and I love the way their tails tip up!). Wishing you and your husband...and family...a wonderful, magical, joyous holiday. Enjoy!

  4. And hopefully, when the wind changes she will be back on her travels home.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and yes, a better 2021.

  5. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- you're quite a poet, Jane! Thank you for sharing this lovely poem with us (and for sharing that bread recipe!).

  6. oh what a poem! I do not think I've seen that bird in my area before so nice. Merry Christmas!

  7. What a gift, Jane. Thank you!