Winter’s Wing

Speaking of travel and snowy owls,
white wings of this weather,
the dishwater sky awaiting heavier
clouds than these, another round
of snow; we are pulled into
the polar vortex again and again.
It’s because we’re heating the seas,
making soup out of creatures
we have no interest in eating.
Still, there’s something about
winter again, the real winter,
how it puts you someplace else,
like the inside of a closet, muffled
and warm when your parents are
having a party, and you are a child.
The laughter and the clink of ice,
present, distant. It’s like that,
under winter’s wing—your blood
thick and quiet, hungry for meat.

 

 

Check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets every Tuesday p.m.!

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Passing

God was in the hush under
the soft-needled pine tree that
reaches out over the sidewalk
and is now freighted with snow,
late-winter snow, wet and heavy.
Stop, I told my son. Look up.
Isn’t it quiet? Do you feel it?

But then a man, whose
irritated presence I had not
felt, appeared beside us
and then in front, having seen
that we and our grocery cart
were not going to step aside,
let him pass without

having to step into the street,
or a high drift, spilling snow down
inside his boots. Then I was
a spiritual dilettante, an oblivious
seeker of capital-E Experiences,
and everything was complicated
again, not simple after all.

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.

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Dear Sir or Madam:

I would like to complain to you about so many things,
like the sunlight that still butters the edges of leaves,
some of which are still green. It’s November; if
everything is going to die, I would rather it be soon.
For weeks, I’ve braced myself for it, and yet, I still
see a flower here and there, hanging in, and its
unwinnable fight hurts me more than if it would
just die already, so I could mourn a little, move on,
make myself ready for ho ho ho’s and the exchange
of good cheer. It takes me a while to make myself
feel that, you know, though eventually I do, at least
a little, even in the worst of years. I am not unmoved
by public sentiment, no matter how frothed it is by
advertisers, manufacturers of things. I like things
as much as the next person, maybe more, and I can’t
lie: I especially like things that are not necessary, ones
that are apple-heavy in my palm and make their own
starlight. I would like the world to turn a little, all of us
to suffer now in darkness and cold, because winter
can’t end before it begins. This anticipation, it’s like
waiting for a blood test, sitting there in an awful room
with a TV you can’t turn off (there’s a handwritten
card that says so, in Sharpie, no less—it’s permanent,
you know), and you can’t imagine that your name will
ever be called, the test ever be done, your blood
remaking itself before you even get up to go home.
You can’t imagine home, not when all of you is
wrapped up in dread, suspended animation.
It’s like that, dear sir or madam.
That’s just what it’s like.

 

For NaBloPoMo, Open Link Night at dVerse Poets, and PAD Challenge, Day 13 (prompt: write a letter poem).

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