“ Continual ” by Giulia De Francesco, Issue 8, The Adroit Journal
It’s that time of year again – the time when we lie in bed and stay in our pajamas until 4 PM reading all of the books we never got a chance to read earlier in the year. Okay, maybe we’re the only ones who stay in their pajamas all day. But that’s irrelevant. We don’t want to share our lazy holiday habits with you, but we do want to share these poems. We took a look through the Adroit archive to find some excellent poems to get you in the wintry mood, whether you choose read them in your pajamas or not.
“Four Elements” by Marie Gauthier (Issue Five)
On the stovetop, cocoa melds
with condensed milk in a pot
warming on the burner.
Small economies: how the sun
weakens in December, bows
to evening before the end
“The Ordained” by Jacques J. Rancourt (Issue Eight)
If God were a season
then he would surely be winter, would ground
by starvation, by frostbite, he would bate
in pairs. […]
I gave my soul to God but he wanted
my body. I gave to winter what belonged
to winter. The rest I cut free with a knife.
“Ode to a Skeleton Key” by Bruce Bond (Issue Six)
Once I saw you as the silent tongue
in the bell of lamplight above my bed
and thought, how strange to have any other,
or locks for that matter, though even then
you betrayed only the oldest closet,
the dark no greed or anger would disturb.
“Midwinter” by Richie Hofmann (issue nine)
reflected like a sequin, like summer even,
though it was New Years Day, and the world
was dusky, and the dog, the house, the woods, the books—
they weren’t even ours.
“In Another Life” by Ruth Foley (Issue Four)
You have been alive for the past
thirty years. You prefer the ocean
to the mountains. You have let your hair
grow long again, and tie it back when
the babies come to visit. You had more
children, and they had children. In
the winter, they come to your house to sled
on the hill that leads out of your woods.
“Late Winter Parallax” by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson (Issue Two)
So many limbs, the sturdy hemlock
and this silent mimicry. They sleep
just out of reach. I reach
breathless at their breathing – such gestures,
the stretched neck, the seeking after.