Monthly Archives: December 2014

Winter by Bill Greenwell

The Poetry Shed

Sheena2Artwork: Sheena Clover

February 1963

Groundsmen like lead; the snail’s tinsel
frozen over; the tongue stuck to the cheek

by a rush of breath; fifty stiff lashes
around a startled eye. This must be

the aftermath of water, the asphyxiation:
that sacred moment when saints faint

because they have been starved. The dog
digs for hot coals, the cat for the memory

of a toddy. Grandmothers wave away fans,
call for the spirit of ’13, when the air

blazed for weeks, when the gas bills stopped.
Not as now, the coins solid in the socket,

the keenest schoolchild sprawled out,
pigtails at angles, cap-peak caught

by the last blizzard, nothing left to do
but watch the sleet on the television, the way

announcers say, without apology,
without flinching, their bow-ties rigid,

normal service will be resumed
as soon as possible
.

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