this drawing represents one of the most beautiful nights of my life. my brother, my best friend, his girlfriend, and i spent new years eve in the woods in maryland. we bundled up in many layers of clothes and trekked into the woods. there was snow and a full moon. together, they made the fields glow. our friends, john and amanda, led us past farms and between trees. scattered snowflakes sparkled between blades of frozen grass. they looked like diamonds. in the woods, the ground was glowing and the sky was blue. only the trees and the people were dark. half of me wanted to enjoy the moment. the other half wanted to memorize it. when we had walked far enough into the wilderness so that no one could see us, we built a fire. we rummaged through the wet leaves to find firewood. john started the fire and the rest of us sat on a fallen log. the next few hours were the funnest of the night. we talked, we roasted frozen marshmallows and, at midnight, we drank a cup of brandy.

a few years later, the editor of Simple Vows Poetry Journal asked me to illustrate the cover of their anthology. he invited me to draw whatever came to mind. so, i drew this. years later, he tells me that their readers are still commenting about it. "your work seems simple," he told me once, "but it's not." that meant a lot to me.

© 2002 rama hughes