Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Wintering Dakota Territory, 1884" - Shara Lessley

Dakota Territory, 1884"
(Shara Lessley)

Already, winter makes a corpse of things.
Snow reshapes what ice has taken. You've lost

interest in letters. So let sunrise come.
Let smoke grow darker by the light of day—

what I could spare of you I've burned already.
The fencepost needs repair. Let sunrise come.

Let panels of light make thirsty the ice-
caked stump of oak. Let the sky go empty

as December's intimations, when in snow
we  fashioned ourselves side by side as fallen
angels: yours, the greater wingspan; my outline
barely reaching. Daybreak. I lay my body down

in powder. Roots torque up through the chest's
blankness, snarl of knots unloosed. What comes,

on parting you insisted, will come. Ice splits,
in the distance. What breaks will break. Let it.

 "Wintering" by Shara Lessley was originally posted on the Slow Muse site. The season doesn't hold its old thrall here in the South with its modern comforts: when it does snow -- as long as the power stays on -- the effect can be beautiful rather than harsh. In Georgia, snowfall is a seasonal palimpsest with its implied message to begin anew. At the end of another year the message in its clarity is unmistakable: make it new, as Pound instructed. [photo: Athens, Georgia, January 2011.]

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