Iowa is nothing in winter but endless roads slick with lonesome. When the snows come, we grow blind gazing at the blank. Cattle wear coats of sleet, chew cornstalk stubble, and chickens save their eggs to save their lives. Don’t we have enough to ice our worried veins? Prowling coyotes. Frozen water lines. Power lines swagged with storm. Amid each wind’s acid flux, we brace strong swathed in scarves. Such short light and endless night, felt. Oh God that the sun would burn it all to ash, a great apocalyptic unveiling, a preemptive Spring. But no, heaven can wait while we trek through yet another incidental season meant to toughen our hides like some frontier settlers foolishly seeking the Promised Land.
German-born Chila Woychik is an amalgam of European, Irish, & Acadian forebears, has recent bylines in journals such as Silk Road, Storm Cellar, and Burningword. She was awarded the 2017 Loren Eiseley Creative Nonfiction Award & the 2016 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award. Of days awash in heavy-handed green and skies on a bender, she is intimately aware. Currently, she edits the Eastern Iowa Review, and bikes, hikes, relentlessly. www.chilawoychik.com