January Light

The things I never liked,
like winter light in January,

the long, cold, wasted afternoons
too bright upon the cusp

of December’s darker
grays and greens—

to slowly come to like such things,
how much richer they seem

for their unexpected seduction,
like bitter flavors or certain music

like clouds unmingling
to show a higher cloud

moving the other way. Fear
and loneliness, I could say:

wracks the wind has rent by grace.
For witness that shredded circle

rimmed with white like blazing wire
and what now shines

upon a few cans
in the snow.

John Landretti, a teacher at an anti-poverty program in the Twin Cities, has been published in The Best Spiritual Writing 2001 and The Anatomy of Memory.