Nature would rather we rest our psyches in winter.
—Reed Whittemore, “Three Poems to Jackson”
There’s a photo of a poet buried up to her neck in it,
in black and white, of course. She’s screwed her eyes shut
and hillocks on her cheekbones sag against her lids.
Behind her eyes could be finches and forsythia,
even a memory of fast cars and midnights on the avenue.
All danger on ice, boys and booze-blown kisses,
are they lost to her, or just tiptoed like crated sweaters?
She revels in them. She is warp and weft.
The afterlife of wool is dust. What is winter? Who died for it?
Reed Whittemore (September 11, 1919 – April 6, 2012) served twice as Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress (1954 to 1965, and 1984 to 1985) and was Poet Laureate of Maryland (1985 to 1988). He published 13 books of poems, and taught at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1966 to 1984. In “Three Poems to Jackson,” he writes: “I have not/Come to terms with winter but bludgeoned winter/To my terms.”
Sarah Ann Winn’s writing has appeared in Five Points, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Passages North. Her chapbooks include Field Guide to Alma Avenue and Frew Drive (Essay Press, 2016), Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay (Porkbelly Press, 2016) and Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015). She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America. bluebird words.com, @blueaiisling
Pamela Murray Winters lives and works in Maryland. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Unbeckonable Bird, was published in June 2018 by FutureCycle Press.