Winter 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 1 Poetry |

From “Ruin Island”

Narrow it to this: the room of hay, the bed of twigs, the floor of mud ground smooth with pacing. The man whittling: first a reindeer, then a horse, then a fish, then a bird, then a splinter made to look like a splinter. Fire gone out and hoarfrost blossoms. She wipes it away with one finger as if to use it for light. The corners of the room darken. She has been lying on night, trying to keep it contained. Once the world was all white and the earth-island rose into being through a breathing hole. Spring winds held it aloft and far south, palm trees were fountains of birds. Now a swinging oriole's nest holds everything and even that small cup is emptying out. She leaves. Sky is gray flannel edged with blue. Sun comes, carrying the island's land-roots into the sky like a ripped-out weed. In the North where she had lived, sun was halo, traveling an elliptical path that carried polarities: night and day, heat and cold. Now it is singular. She walks without resting, her shado

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Poem

By Gretel Ehrlich

Narrow it to this: the room of hay, the bed of twigs, the floor of mud ground smooth with pacing. The man whittling: first a reindeer, then a horse, then […]

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