February

You are what stands
between me and March
when I’m eating my bark
like potato chips in January,
sucking molasses sap
from my skin cracks,
mistaking dead leaves
for fall foliage,
living as a tree
that’s rotted and ravined,
now a hollow dwelling
where the rodents died.

Casting gray crosses
on barren cash-crop farms,
birds fly in circles
until they can go North,
and America hopes the groundhog
won’t see his shadow,
and if he does
you will be vengeful,
throwing snow
and icing drives,
freezing groves
and power lines,
and skiing cars
across black ice.
your sleet storms
trap travelers
in damp log cabins
like fine-pelted wolves
in a hunter’s snare
while the salted city sidewalks
separate from the weight
of your white slush.

Stop taunting me
with the buds I birth
when Spring marches in
skirts and dresses
without panties,
my legs then hot tree roots
in need of a breeze
to cool what’s between;
I have a blossom
that needs to breathe.

(3rd Revision)

2 Responses to “February”

  1. There’s a lot going on in this poem, and, as a reader, I feel disconnected by all the different points that are brought up. I’m not sure what February is doing to you. You describe February very well, but I think you need to put a distinct, clear accusation somewhere in there, so I can appreciate the struggle and understand more accurately why you need Spring to come. It might just be that I want to know more about this Spring “person” you’re anticipating to meet. I think mostly I want to know how February is taunting you with the buds you birth. How do your roots feel a breeze within the earth? I feel like this might be missing a verse between the 2nd and 3rd. Just some things to consider. Your descriptions, as usual, are lovely.

  2. bodhitsattva Says:

    I agree. The third stanza is actually transplanted from another poem; it was a piece of a shitty poem that I just couldn’t let go of, and for good reason because it is a great image. But because of the transplant I did feel like there was a rough transition between stanzas two and three. When I asked Morganne she said it worked, but I still feel like there is a shift that is not fully explored. Thanks for the response! I will keep your criticism in mind when I do the next revision. ^_^

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