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Poem in February

Susan Ioannou
First appeared in Potato Eyes, No. 2, Winter 1989.
Reprinted from:   Clarity Between Clouds. NB: Goose Lane Editions, 1991.


Gradually days lengthen.
Beside a road, the land's sparse hairs
poke through thinning snow,
ease aside white anonymity.

We almost sense
warmth tingle beneath the crust
and, in a clarity between clouds,
new light that lifts
blue edges from the afternoon
to pink, to a distant
promise of green.

Our own days try to lengthen,
despite our turning
sparse as spoked grass,
stiffness creeping up seasons,
eyes more hung with sleep.
We are counterpoints to growing:
spring pushes up
out of our subtle, slow decay.

Although we shall wither
among repetitions of flowers,
in this bracing wind
thoughts turn sharp, impatient with regret.
Fruit pressed to wine,
we shall dry in the lengthening sun,
crumble in long shadows

—except for love
that seeds new fields in our hair,
sweeps us on hawk's wide wing across the morning,
beyond unravelling fences,
over the sighing trees
and, high above a dusty winding thread,
opens in us its golden egg of light.


Susan Ioannou's works copyright © to the author.


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