Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Poets, Writers and Storytellers New Year: Waiting for Old Christmas

One of West Virginia's best poets has shared a poem for our New Years series. Sherrell Wigal weaves words with such strong imagery I feel like I can reach out and touch the places and people of which she writes. 

(Old Christmas, as you probably know, is January 6th. The date was changed to December 25th when 12 more days were added to the calendar when the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in 1752.)

Waiting for Old Christmas

Morning falls open.
The house is quiet
as the rooms of old men,
dim as their pale eyes,
slow as their shuffle from bed
to bath, to chair, to bath, to bed.

All day I stay and expect
the unnamed to come
or to happen.
Maybe a wing will open
 like a golden promise,
a guarantee against  forgotten.

It is almost next year,
there is nowhere to go,
nothing to put away,
no one with easy words.
Still I wait. It is what I do
in late December.

In ten days I will sleep late,
wake in afternoon light.
Walk to the barn in the far meadow,
through deep snow,  under a new moon
where cattle will rise up,

and speak to me at midnight.

Sherrell Wigal


Sherrell Wigal is a poet originally from Roane County, West Virginia, now living in Wood County.  Until 1999, she served for many years as director of the West Virginia Writer’s annual conference, and has been the past coordinator of the literary events tent at the West Virginia State Folk Festival.  She conducts numerous creative writing workshops throughout the area, including the annual week-long Allegheny Echoes Workshops in June of each year in Pocahontas County, WV.  Sherrell is also a performance poet and has performed throughout West Virginia and surrounding states.  Her list of performances includes the Arthur Brandon Humanities Lecture series at Alderson-Broaddus College, the Rhythm and Rhyme series at Kanawha County Public Library, the annual Vandalia Gathering and the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee.  In May 2005 she was one of the featured artists in North Carolina at the Caldwell County Arts Council where she participated in a unique presentation of two and three dimension art and poetry.  Her writing appears in many publications throughout the country.  Much of Sherrell's poetry reflects her love, appreciation and connection to nature, people and the cultural heritage of West Virginia.  

You can read more of Sherrell's poetry on her blog, Sherrell's Poetry Pages.


Brighid said...

Beautiful! I'm not commenting with each one, but I do read and enjoy them. Thank You for posting them!


Such a beautiful poem. It will be with me a long while. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.

Beth Brown said...

I loved this. I love how simple poetry can get right to the root and put me in a different place. This is beautiful.

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