Unbearable, the snowdrops, as if winter
could be something lived through.
Overmuch, this reminder of life,
the dead earth candling its sorrows
with bowed heads in silent mourning.
Implausible, to have been—
meaning to have harmed, to have cut
the bud by the root—as if being could ever,
perpetually, end with softness. Or begin
in Kyrie eleison, a call echoed by white bells.
Gillian Cummings is the author of The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, selected by John Yau as the winner of the 2018 Colorado Prize for Poetry (forthcoming in November 2018) and My Dim Aviary, winner of the 2015 Hudson Prize (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Boulevard, The Journal, The Laurel Review, Linebreak, Verse Daily, and previously in Tupelo Quarterly. Her website is www.gilliancummingspoet.com.