The first time I saw Vermont was late November, long after
autumn’s paint tubes had dried up, leaving a rubble of cross-
hatched line, boondoggle of branch, tangle of twig: all the
the bone work of snow, armature of frost. I was young and
November not much older. She strutted her fretwork, her random
marquetry in underbrush, her burnt umber, ashes and dung, her
lung of night, her anger before forgiveness, long after harvest.
November is unloved until we lunge into
continents of food, until we walk across
the bridgework to the white losses of December. November
is a scrap of time on the edge of winter’s quilt: God’s mistake
or God’s unmistakable truth: the undressing of a beautiful
bruise before the healing.