Pick-a-Poem: “To Winter”


It’s Wednesday here at the Jet Fuel blog and that means it’s time to feature another poem! As always, this week’s poem comes from Poetry Daily, which is a handy site where you can get your daily fix of poetry. This week I found a poem that has a very seasonally appropriate title — To Winter, by Rebecca Dunham.

According to her page on Poetry Daily, Rebecca Dunham has written two books of poetry, The Miniature Room and The Flight Cage. She was the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellow in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

To Winter, by Rebecca Dunham

    after the painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1563

You are catch-less, you are my abandonment—
You are my very own sweet crone.

Timeless slab of ice and raw scrub, you empty me
to pitted fruit-stone, a sacrifice
To the green, green moon.

You stiffen, sexless as the whiskered ditch’s roots,
the sink-holed lawn,
the pruned limbs—mere stumps.

You drain the lemon’s pulp beneath its bitter rind.
You disclose the corded trunk’s grizzle.

Absent desire, you are reduced to offshoot of silver
maple, its thrust from

the throat’s barked lock.
Stasis: this flame unfanned. A fallow wake.

Too, you are the snow fleas that swarm each footfall.
You are the breath that winnows the snow’s
hard-pack like petaled clouds.

Unplait me.

I want this for us:
both the re-leaf and release of furrowed brow and chest.
To feel the blossom of a lover’s breath.

To feel you untie the knotted throat.

I hope you enjoyed this seasonal poem of the week! For more featured poems, click here!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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