HER HEART, MORNING, by ralph culver
The roses have used up their time on Earth.
Well, for now. In five months
spring will have its say. But today the snow
has changed everything—hiding despair
and promise equally. The light, increasing
from the east, frames her at the window
as she looks down on the featureless yard
beneath its white, obscurant mantle.
What to feel? she wonders, that space
in her chest noncommittal,
even though she senses how much the man
in the bed behind her loves her.
What to feel, when what we have
is good and still not what we wanted?
She understands: she desires a sign—
a cardinal alighting on the branch just
beneath the sill. Maybe the dog will bark or
a rabbit will cross the yard by the trunk
of the maple. In the meantime,
waiting, she sees just clearly enough
that she needn't choose despair
or promise, one over the other, just now.
His breathing is even. A constancy.
Her own breath fogs the windowpane.
Ralph Culver lives in South Burlington, Vermont. His most recent collection of poems is the chapbook So Be It (WolfGang Press, 2018), available in bookstores and on Amazon. His new collection A Passible Man is forthcoming soon from MadHat Press.