Sheila Wellehan

New Year’s Poem

You ask yourself
every year or two
on New Year’s Eve
or maybe a half-forgotten birthday –
you ask yourself,
How did I get here?
Living alone atop
this tall white pine?
Where it’s just you, the night
your eyes and mind,
no friends or guides,
no human ties.
You know the answer.
You know it took years,
your lifetime,
to climb limb by limb,
higher and higher,
to where the view’s divine,
the company fine –
to thrive with eagles
and their kind. 
Still, you wonder,
with ice shining bright below,
the world a snowy bride.
You’ll confide in the sky
she’ll help you decide –
and you whisper
very softly
so even the sky can’t hear,
Was there another way?
Is there another way?
You’re not saying
you want to,
but if you did
could you change

Sheila Wellehan's poetry is recently featured or forthcoming in Forklift, OhioMenacing HedgeSan Pedro River ReviewTinderbox Poetry JournalWhale Road Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit her online at