opening

because in this closing of the year
i find another narrow door
to slip through—somelight
like you came into the world
all pent-up fuss and bother

more than true for once desire
to escape without admitting it—
sometimes
proclaiming it—

now these boxes and ribbons
become remembrance, smoothing over, wrapping up
and making pretty
ordinary, how mothers and daughters fit together,
spool apart

Thaw

we’re down to icy slush, footstep-shaped
margins of grass or sodden islands
sudden lakes, squished plastic bags
sidewalk-washed downstream

the dripping we heard overnight a dream-
breath of spring, sheets too warm
the same winter birds but heard
with the door cracked

how things get ugly before getting better
like a healing bruise, the heart
churns, chugs, pumps again and
in winter’s dreg-end we sweep away
the debris

This winter

is snow on ice on ice on snow
and we know this is metaphor
also, this floundering through drifts
and bleak shivering, a slip and a fall

juncos flit and chickadees
never give up their song, the warning note
for all these branches bent under
their own frozen weight, summer’s broken stems
brittle and glazed

how far down do we hold our love’s roots, the seeds
and is this the winter
that kills them

Moldy

Maybe you shouldn’t have looked in here, after so many weeks

or months? to find your friends talking about God knows and eight or nine expired poetry challenges, that feeling

like skipping church for a year, then sitting in the town chapel singing Christmas carols with strangers—

didn’t you want to cry? and didn’t you stop yourself, a disciplined no? but listen, I’m telling you

yes: find what’s worth saving, a fresh heart beneath all that must

 

A long-lined acrostic dedicated to the long-neglected crew at Yeah Write.