Bio Note: One statement of of faith from the years I worked in a downtown office building was that by the 10th of January, I could walk out and there would still be light in the sky. January in Vermont is no joke: cold, blowy, snowy. So this is a good reminder. Early versions of these poems were written for the Tupelo Press 30-30 challenge (thirty new poems in 30 days in January 2019.
Last Chance: New Year’s
Subject lines on every request scream these words. Text bodies detail wounds: hungry, homeless, therapy dogs, coastal wildlands, war-maimed, unheard wolves, starving dolphins, NAACP, election fraud, tax equity, Greenpeace. Red Cross. Mercury in rivers. Your mailbox was full of these too. We endured the last week between winter holidays and we gave to some or them. The doctors gave bad answers. A teen killed himself. One friend’s sister died in her favorite chair two hours before the party. Bills went unpaid. Shoes wore out or cramped the toes of the growing. The roof leaked. We did not send relief to Yemen. We seek hope as if we can wrap it like gauze around our pounding skulls. We will do what we did last year. Take what comes. Speak up. Practice kindness at every last chance.
Pagan Epiphany in the Night Woods
How easy to imagine sorcerers afoot, studying a comet, their plunder-walk in green robes and scarves, scooting behind bare red oaks and ancient sugar maples, clutching at ironwood to steady their footsteps through drifts. This night I would have them search for truth in a rarified sky, for the Dipper pouring love to the shivering. Three sets of footprints. Red fox, bobcat, and doe hold up to plummeting cold. With what faith they cross the road to the woods. What do they know of each other, of my dogs, of me? These trees note passage, hover over revelation of relations— a forest king cake of rabbit scat and trail, frosting of moonlight.
Say what you will about snow (did I complain last week?) that the snow-crust pack is so dirty, littered, spattered, beaten-down and stained that I wished it would snow again and when the blizzard came and I didn’t believe until I saw two inches falling each hour how those tiniest of flakes showed that the littlest things done purposefully and well, over and over again may clean up the mess we live in.
©2021 Tricia Knoll
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