~склон горы

 

 

i.

shiver softly, mountain spine

uncover your leaking white bandages

release the clotted wounds

fever of snowmelt fills

this mossy-green valley

thrashes its riverbeds

          like young lovers

an hour after sunrise

ii.

heed, sinners 

the churchbell’s bitter copper tongue

lashes out

and elsewhere, god is whispering

a barely white

valediction

          slight as wings

breaking february’s last darkness

distilled before the budding begins

iii.

redbirds stain

strain a fenceline

nodding to the swift trod 

of horsecarts

iv.

black-shawled elder women,

heavy-shouldered

and dull-eyed

gather wood from the cellar

floor

apron pockets of

cabbages and rhubarb

dutiful hands, calloused

          and knowing

kneading the necessary

          warmth

flouring by the window

v.

in the sooner distance

a voice much like ana’s

escapes

between candle and curtain

echoes of russia, calling

calling

©  lori hamilton

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