because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

When every bird cometh

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
–Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules

This is not
a love poem.
sound outside
my downtown window:
another broken

Street lights burn
into mid-February
dark, remember Indian
summer afternoons.
The sirens stop.
In the silence leftover,
your pulse, slowed.

Hope hides
breathing low & fast between
the river and the
dying with its secrets
into the skin
of bare city shoulders.

A soldier
makes his way
uphill from Main
Street station, red
against desert camo.

There is no
snow, today.
A good day
for wing-ed
if one hungers
for such things.

10 responses

  1. A great retrospective piece showing not all valentine’s day have been times to celebrate
    It makes you want to cherish these moments more
    thank you for putting today into perspective.

    February 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  2. Nice post. Thanks

    February 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

  3. I learned to read Chaucer aloud with a fairly accurate accent. Mastering Middle and Old English spelling helps as these later styles train for the earlier Chaucerian tone and recognize this particular spelling to get the words right.

    February 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

  4. nice joanna….i like the contrast in the sirens and the silence…and the stanza immediately after that is tight…between the river and the dying…nice….lots of great texture in this…i like…

    February 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  5. Not always as lovey dovey as one thinks, great capture and showing another side!

    February 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

  6. You’ve created a very stark and graphic series of pictures here, very compact, nothing extra do divert from the impact. Each stanza both stands on its own and helps build to that excellent windup. Very fine piece

    February 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

  7. This poem pulls you in …. I can see the death and hope hiding like a fugitive…. oh man this poem ROCKS….

    February 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  8. A great write, Joanna !

    February 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm

  9. Your line breaks always get me. Always sharp, and they just assist the imagery wonderfully.

    Nice work here.

    February 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm

  10. Gay

    Stark, winter, no doily frills here. This is as clear as cold air on a freezing sunny day. Not all is joy, but nothing more original than “breathing low & fast between/ the river and the/dying with its secrets/freckled/into the skin/of bare city shoulders.” Excellent

    February 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm


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