In Punxsutawney, Phil Sees His Shadow

on Gobbler’s Knob, surrounded only by his Inner Circle

and the cardboard cutouts fans could purchase in advance,

have signed and mailed back as souvenirs

of the time they were two places at once,

maybe absent from their own inner circles

and jealous of Phil’s friends, chuckling nervously

at the paper faces frozen in vicarious joy

until the groundhog announces:

            there will be six more weeks of winter

and the annual Wine Festival has been postponed another nine,

and the Inner Circle swears they saw a shadow cast over the crowd

before heading for safer hills, soothsayer in tow.

Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum is a writer and teacher born and raised in Alaska. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Japanese Studies with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She currently serves as the Mat-Su Vice President of Alaska Writers Guild. Learn more at

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