It’s one of those days. The dogwood
bloomed too early, the snow came late,
and here we are, in our steam-heat apartment,
the Christmas lights we never put away
still blinking above the empty fireplace.
You in the shower, me on the couch staring
out the window as the wind twists the white petals
and fat snowflakes down
spills through the tree limbs bright as lemon —
a mythic beauty no one believes: purple sky,
emerald leaves, everything yellow halo and glow.
And I want to call you. I want you to see it,
standing naked in our living room, dripping water
on our oak floor. But I know this moment’s
a hummingbird’s breath in a Pleistocene age.
That the day is fragile. That you’d rush out to find
gray flowers, gray snow. Still, here we are,
in the contentment of the radiator’s steady heat.
And outside: the determined spring, and the strange
incomprehensible joy of the careless snow.
- Jen Ashburn
Jen Ashburn’s first poetry collection, The Light on the Wall, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. Her work has been published in The MacGuffin, Nerve Cowboy, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, the anthology Words Without Walls, and other journals. She completed her master’s of fine arts at Chatham University in poetry and creative nonfiction. She lives in Swissvale. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on WESA 90.5 FM.