Bulbs peek green
tongues from the soil, snow
becomes a philosophical
question: How long can
one stay the same before melting?
All the while, cold holds. Always,
though, it is the gravity
that gets us in the end, the heaviness
of the mind, that cerebral tug.
In the morning, a wrinkle,
the scrutiny of night. And then
there are the words,
the memory tease
of Thompson, Pennsylvania,
the blue jeaned girl leaning
over, stroking chickens upside down
between the eyes, putting them to sleep.
I never knew her. That’s what I think
now, remembering her lying
in the dark, the coo of the birds
gone with the down
of the sun, unable to find the switch
on the wall in the familiar room,
flailing her long arms out of that
warm blanket, cold fingers finding nothing
but what she thought was not there,
the cord to a lamp, pulling the porcelain
weight through the air, the crashing glass and
the remaining shards. We are all like this,
she thought, like the tulips this time of month,
clawing through the damp, pawing the air, always
with the struggle, the searching for light.
Alicia Hoffman, NY, USA