The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Emily Rose Cole

First Winter




The battered dead

leaves swirl around the bases of trees and scatter

like dregs against a teacup's curve.     




Wind sharpens itself on woodsmoke and moldered leaves.

Cicadas hum summer’s requiem and burrow down.

Frost feathers a quilt across the windowpanes.




Progress rakes shallow wounds through the Indiana ground:


The corn withers. The fields are seeded

with housing developments.




Families light candles.

The air thickens with light and the scent

of beeswax.




Snow falls.



"Language is useless," she informs me.

"It complicates everything. We need to live

in our bodies instead."


I'd protest, but I'm mesmerized

by the flick of her wrist

as she separates muscle and bone

from the limb of a lamb.

Its juices stain her cutting board,

white pine masquerading mahogany.


She choreographs our dinner,

sweeping and swirling from counter to oven to table,

crafting unspoken sonnets in the curl of a foot,

the swish of a skirt,

teaching me her world

in motion.

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