My winter wood has been stacked for months, drying in the summer sun. On this northern desert there is no rain, nearly no dew. When winter comes, the snow is so cold that no water can enter the wood. Gloveless, I brush the dry powder from atop the stack. There is neither roof nor walls to protect it. Squirrels run in and out of the pile and neighborhood children struggle to pull a few thin pieces out and use them as swords or guns. No one has ever stolen any of my wood but I like to believe someone could. If a person were really cold he could step quietly under cover of night through my gate and into my silent yard. There is the wood! Bits of bark lie dark on the white snow. My visitor’s boots crackle as he walks. By the woodpile is a wheelbarrow. Whoever is there slowly lifts each log and sets it down in the cart. When the wood touches the metal there is a ringing as of a bell, but softly so that, though I hear, I only smile slightly and turn in my sleep.