When the Wind in December
by Patrick T. Randolph

Late August afternoon in December—
Sounds strange, sounds surreal, but that’s how it feels
Today with the westerly winds moving
About in the trees, through tall dried up grass,
In and out of this old Dodge truck window.
I stop the truck and pull over onto
A piece of barren farm land; God, the winds
Are warm for a December day. The sun
Has been hiding for weeks behind the clouds.
I think of August afternoons, my feet
Feeling the moist heat of green grass, my skin
Waiting for rain to cool these sleepless nights.


Patrick T. Randolph and his wife, Gamze, live in La Crosse,
Wisconsin.  He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the
English as a Second Language Department.  Randolph has had poems
published in
Bellowing Ark, California Quarterly, Free Verse, Poetry
Depth Quarterly
, and many other journals in both the States and abroad.

On “When the Wind in December”:
This past December in Wisconsin was unseasonably warm,
supporting the idea that there is no “global warming” per se, but
an already “warmed globe.”  The heat of one mid-December
afternoon elicited a memory of driving on the blue highways of
my youth in an old yellow Dodge pickup truck.  The heat on this
December day brought back smells of sun-warmed timothy grass
on August afternoons, and thick sultry winds. After returning home
from a day at school, I sat down at our small dinner table and wrote
the first draft of this poem. I looked up and saw my wife’s smile; she,
too, was aware of those oddly hot December winds in the winter air.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 1, Number 2
(Fall 2006)

Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.