It Was Winter
But today the river cracks, the path loses
to needles, the snowdrops cry their petals down.
The crocus has no debts.
I saw an angel disguised as a wild turkey
hustle her brood. Scornful,
she left a scratch for me—
already oozing back to speechlessness.
Too wet for gathering, but already leaves
unroll stickily for the slugs. Don’t say
I’m the wrong one. Who else is there?
I kiss the angel’s egg like a hot coal.
I don’t know what I’ll say next.
firelight, actively burning
the aurora, like shimmering teeth
the moon, overturned in the river.
Little beeches waiting for their chance
to succeed to the resin forest.
Sunlight, Moonlight, Starlight, Daylight,
Firelight, and Electra have a giggly colloquy.
But who is best, Betsy? they ask girlishly. Gee!
You’re all so beautiful! “But sometimes, when I’m real sleepy,
I can get along
without any light at all.”
Trying on bat vision.
No ghosts over the river, just
the moon, just the night, just lights.
A Map of the Maze
The girl walking the gravel with a golf umbrella
has the right idea. The sun drips with malice.
No one is stationed at the center.
Commander Booth in her dress uniform
has no patience for mazes. Souls
pour into the bell of her trumpet.
The nicotiana refuses to be consoled.
The boxwoods, stunned, are shrinking.
A blue ribbon in the hedge, or could it be
a different blue ribbon?
Lemonade in the punch bowl, a ring
of ice that doesn’t know how to melt.
Suzanne Fischer is a historian who lives in California. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rock and Sling, Ladowich, Spinning Jenny, Strange Horizons, and the Minnesota Review. Find her online @publichistorian or at suzannefischer.net.