Io That Second Winter








How tiresome these memories trundling behind me
through every snowstorm, these blue-and-lavender-splotched
shadows lurking under the shuddering pines
like a child with bread bags tied around her Keds,
her stiff hands stuffed in ice-crusted socks.

But even she could never have imagined
living in a half-collapsed greenhouse
while the sun stumbles against stacked clouds
and the creek thrashes over tumbled rocks.

Three days of snow, one storm pushed in, one pushed out,
and now new snow falling, heavy with water, staggered holes
of yesterday’s struggle to the woodshed already filled in.

Will I ever again believe that under rotten leaf
and wood and rubbish and four feet of snow
there could be the slowed breathing, the steadied pulse
of millions, believe in the frog’s single note, the mantis’
one prayer, all the small lives hoarding their own heat?

Clouds lower themselves to the ground and threaten
to further collapse the greenhouse into itself
as if the season is settling in, as if nothing could ever change.


Photo By: blmiers2


About Author

Judy Jordan’s first book of poetry, Carolina Ghost Woods, won the 1999 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the Utah Book of the Year Award, the OAY Award from the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. Her second book of poetry, Sixty Cent Coffee and a Quarter to Dance, was published by LSU press. Jordan’s third manuscript, Hunger, which is about the two years she spent in semi-homelessness living in a greenhouse is at LSU press and she just completed a fourth book of poetry. Jordan built her own environmentally friendly house out of cob and earthbag while living in a tent, founded SIPRAW, which rescued dogs out of puppy mills, lives off the grid, is a vegan, and teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

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