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/ November


by Megan Nichols

It’s one of those warm days
after a cold snap, where you can brave
the outside with a light sweater and forget 
you’re on the wrong side of winter.
The songbirds sing louder than the crows
for what feels like the first time in months
and light is dancing off the green
in such a way that makes it easy to overlook
the advancing red and brown.
It’s the kind of day that tempts
you to bare your legs 
and pull the box fan back out of the attic. 
It’s the kind of day that reminds you of radishes
your mouth watering at the imagined 
crunch made better with flakey salt and the pricey olive oil 
that’s worth the cost because of how good it tastes 
drizzled on top of homegrown arugula which you will plant 
beside the carrots and now you’ve got your sun hat on,
keys in hand, foot on the pedal, you’re striding 
into Home Depot ready to plant the salad of your dreams.
You’re waking up from a long internal winter
that started sometime when the schools shut down
or when the playground became dangerous
or when the country flamed– flames,
and then you realize, you’ve forgotten your mask
and won’t be let in though maybe that’s alright 
because the giant inflatable pumpkins
and plastic tombstones on clearance, remind you
that this time of year, nothing good can grow.

Megan Nichols

About Megan Nichols

Megan Nichols works as a copywriter and lives with her son in the Ozark Mountains. Her poetry is forthcoming with Pretty Owl Poetry.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.