Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Lori Stratton has won our writing contest on the theme of Cycles with her piece "Seasons."
I appreciate the way the seasons melt together
and the way we never really know where
one starts and another ends
or which one comes first in the cycle.
The way March’s green first peeps
then shoots through
February’s remaining muddy white.
The way late November forgets its leaves overnight
when December steals in, its darkness
spreading over us like a favorite comforter,
familiar and warm.
Or the way I spend my mornings tending
to my granddaughter, changing her diaper,
coaxing spoons full of pureed pears into
her small, pink mouth, then retreat in the evenings
to my mother’s apartment.
I check the bathroom for signs of illness,
throw out the wilting lettuce from the refrigerator,
spread ointment over her thinning skin,
her aching joints.
I hold my mother’s hands, noticing that we share the same fingers,
the same brown spots, the same knobby knuckles, her
hands only slightly smaller