Cold stove of 4:00 a.m., black iron


Cold stove of 4:00 a.m., black iron, the lids in place on everyone but me, and down the chimney, through the damper’s pinch, the distant hoo-hoo-hooing of an owl. And soon, among the sticks of kindling in the box of words, the mouselike scritching of my pen.

~ Ted Kooser, February. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book

Photo Credit: The Wild Free Spirit


  1. A chill passed over me as I read this description–I could feel the solitude in my core. The man nails it every time…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Just the picture evokes memories of my Mom’s former stove — it radiated heat and there was a zone you could be in – just enough to be warm, not too close to be scorched! I think I heard the owl just now … MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you share his words. Some writers are just startling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know 4 a.m. well…………

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I was very young, my mom cooked on a wooden stove. I’ve never figured out how she managed to bake without burning the pies and cakes etc. Her cooking was wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lovely. and 4 am is a magical time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tug. Heartstrings.
    Grandfather’s house.
    Warmth. Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. His writing is masterful. Maybe, one day, I could take the lid off at 4 a.m. to experience the mouselike scritching of my pen.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So good…so very good!

    Liked by 1 person

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