Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Breathe, open

Her arms stretch,
mimicking clipped wings,
stiff and tired, reawakening
for the spring thaw brings
a memory of what it is like
to be unburdened, for the heart to hold
fresh, red contents
in one half; blue
and tired in the other

Her back, bare
waits, sighing
for a new hand to slide across it,
possessive, masculine
for the spring thaw means
breakup, when the ice
shudders and groans
on the river

Rachel Westfall
January 14, 2009

This one is inspired by the Northern tradition/ urban legend that people switch beds & partners at breakup. I haven't seen it in action much, but it's part of the local story fabric here, much like the idea of having a "squeeze for the winter." The poem was also inspired by the melting snow and the sniff of spring, as we've gone from the minus thirties to about three degrees Celcius in a matter of just a few days. I'm sure the warm weather will be short-lived, so maybe everyone ought to stick with their current partners for now.


Scott Ennis said...

Your poetry is crafted very beautifully. It's inviting and flows smoothly. You don't just write poetry; you are a poet. There is something about the way you break your lines and punctuate (or don't) that is just right. I'm going to enjoy following your writing.

RachelW said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting, Scott! Your words are both kind and encouraging. I shall enjoy reading your sonnets, too.

christopher said...

Extravagant Promise

If the breakup means
I must move down one more bed
Then I hope winter
Will stay forever.

I watch the sun, eyes wary,
Watch you too, looking
For signs that you move
Toward the closet, satchel
And your hiking shoes
Ready to pray, plead
My case, promise you I will
Even clean the cat.

RachelW said...

Beautiful, Christopher; what a wonderful poetic conversation!

christopher said...

I have a tendency to catch a thought, then quickly write it down. I can leave it here or use the preview to save it and delete, whichever you prefer. And yes, I envision every poem I write as conversational. I always write to someone.

RachelW said...

I'm honoured and delighted that you did share it here! It's the beauty of blogging-- I've never seen such communal creativity anywhere else.

jozien said...

I laugh! I did live that legend. It was a dark time full of love and laughter. Extreme as the weather. I am glad to say that that was 20 some years ago and haven't switch beds since.