Marin Poetry Center


By Roxanne Grechman

Before the thaw, when the earth-dirt is
black and cracked frozen, it’s hard to remember
that when trying to draw words from that wet place in your head,
picking acorns to adorn the lines
of poetry like fluted oak bark, it can be hard not
to slip in the mud.

The frost is what holds it all together,
keeps you aloft on unstable ground
beneath which miles upon miles of peat-soft fallen leaves
beckon hungrily.

The snow is the key, the answer and the end,
the sweet chill that every whispered fairytale devours and delights in
to grow beautiful on crystalline cold.
It’s what they all have in common, the royalty of winter,
from the harsh-bright blue fangs to the
hiemal embrace of the northern wind,
under the drunk-swirling ice-bright silver pricks of stars
like holes torn in a wizard’s thick cloak.

Honorable Mention:  Roxanne Grechman
Redwood High School

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