Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Among the Winter Beginning


The snow begins by falling
through the sky’s pale slate.
The lindens’ buds, red
from a week of March sun,
wait within a yellow-brown inversion
of the air. Everywhere the flakes
alight, accumulate. On the sidewalk
a toddler’s laughter
rattles to a cough, an involuntary protest,
his body’s way of saying no.
His mother bends low,
speaks to him, smiles then rises,
steps from the curb, releases his hand.
The snowfall slows.
Forget that black sedan,
that thunder-crush of steel and bone
among the winter beginning
to end, her body
flying lifeless through the flurry, her blood
like blossoms blurring in the slush:
he stood so still
beneath the crimson fists
those lindens held upraised against the gray,
which is the color of silence,
with only the terrible air to breathe,
when a god lets go.

Daniel Berkner teaches in the Department of English at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and has recently completed his first book-length poetry manuscript. He plans to get a good night's rest.