I started writing poetry in 1998 after writing mostly fiction and non-fiction. Poetry has been a daily practice since 2011, and a lifeline and tranquilizer during a long recovery when I had a serious accident and crushed the top of my tibia. My work has been published in a variety of literary magazines, but the writing process offers the most satisfaction. In addition to poetry, I do fabric and paper art deep in the woods of central Virginia. www.JoanMazza.com
A huge bipedal figure ran across
my yard last night, his wide-stride imprint
dark against the pristine snow. He broke
the ice crust on the blue-white blanket
that has held me trapped for days,
a prisoner tied up by weather.
Has Big Foot come this way?
The forecast says it will be colder still.
This morning, minus six degrees,
surely an irrational number. Maybe more
snow, more ice, more days inside.
That’s insane; I could go berserk.
Today I chop celery, carrots, potatoes,
all organic, and a full pound of kidney beans,
plus a quart of home-canned tomatoes
from last summer— a hundred years ago.
Six quarts to portion out and label.
I juggle, reconfigure earlier containers.
Like so many things, my appetite
for cooking is larger than my freezer.
For Big Foot, I put the pot outside, half-full
still, leftovers for him. He might arrive
again. I’ll let him in to whisper strange new
words for fifty shades of snow.
Six Inches of Snow
Falling all night in tiny flakes, these insubstantial
crystals accumulate in drifts and mounds, too heavy
to shovel, enough to keep me home for days without
my choosing. I don’t step out on the mat but know
it’s icy, my measure an estimate by eye, height
of white on the wooden table with a two-inch top.
The crown of snow meets the table at an angle
that calls to mind the pyramids, but at a steeper
slope, perhaps determined by humidity, temperature,
size of crystals, speed of wind. A winter traffic jam
in air, what can’t be forecast for any future:
the angle of the drift, isosceles or acute,
nor how long untrampled pristine perfection
will last, before melting in a flood,
how much hope for green’s return.
©2016 Joan Mazza