“Perennial” by Joan I. Siegel

Perennial

While we slept last night,
late October frost passed
over the garden like the angel
of death, shriveling
the purple heads of cone flowers.
Already the smell of snow.
Tightening in the ribs.
Little by little
afternoons shrink around us
in the darkening rooms. Inexorable,
the earth’s engines drive headlong.
Deer huddle in their yards.
Black bears sleep. Tree frogs
suspend. All
abide.
Elsewhere, someone
is opening a door,
stepping out in the garden
where the first crocus pushes up
like the fingers of Persephone
eager for light.
Here, we tap in the dark, call
to each other.
—-from Hyacinth for the Soul

Joan I. Siegel, author of Hyacinth for the Soul (Deerbrook Editions), Light at Point Reyes (Shabda Press) and co-author of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books), received The New Letters Poetry Prize and the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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