Only mid-October, so the trees—still bright
with leaves—crack with the surprise of snow.
Cold splits the small elms at the tops of their trunks,
opens their branches like fingers pulling back corn silk,
tearing everything down with ice. Such destruction:
the broken branches, their red leaves, all bow low.
Katherine Bode-Lang was born and raised in western Michigan. She is the 2014 winner of The American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; The Reformation will be published this fall. Her chapbook, Spring Melt (Seven Kitchens Press), placed second in the 2008 Keystone Chapbook Contest and earned the New England Poetry Club’s Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She has published in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Mid-American Review, Beloit, The Cincinnati Review, and Subtropics. Katherine earned her MFA in poetry at Penn State University, where she is now an IT Trainer in the Office of Research Protections. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Andrew.