Things to Do in a Winter Lockdown

in the style of Dan Albergotti’s “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale”

by Tyler Letkeman

Make hot chocolate. Count the icicles that drip from your eaves.
Shovel all the driveways. Makes snow families through four
generations. Create new constellations. Snuggle up warm
in a blanket and dream of running through open space
and warm air. Examine your reflection in a frosted window.
Zoom with family. Cry along with the fading light. Sing
through the long nights. Cut your homework into snowflakes.
Bake your grandma’s cookies. Decorate your tree
with your favourite ornaments. Decorate your heart
with your favourite memories. Listen for the sound
of hoofbeats on your rooftop. Be grateful for the stone
and timbers that shelter you and the waves and wires
that still connect us. Grieve. Grieve for the ghosts of Christmases
past. But remember our present, wrapped up in a box
in the lengthy dark, is a present to ensure future Christmases.

Tyler Letkeman is a husband, father, brother, son, teacher, learner, reader, nerd, artist, scientist, poet, traveller, vacummer, shy guy, and general-life-enjoy-er. He is the creator, editor, and web-master of four lines (, a poetry and art magazine that aims to get to the heart of things as simply as possible, and has recently self-published his first collection of poems, Gaia’s New Clothes. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.

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