Where you sleep, dark snow lashes down. Your glasses are ice-cold;
your eyesight astigmatic
Your sleep, spondaic—a dream of unclogging the sink, of missing the toilet,
of breathing without a mask in a party of strangers
I mistake the snow for a sign, unusually late this winter
The doctor asks if I have plans for a pregnancy in the next twelve months
Lemons sour on the window ledge; the pines doubled-down : I shudder, turn the coffee on.
No, I smile, no plans.
But I should need my womb, like cash just in case.
Imagine I will use it again, to wind it up & listen
Now, the first snow of December. Corner of a new year; proper to fill it with something and
shake it out
The pregnant women line up six feet apart at the clinic, lost in the forest, their phone screens
cracked & low on battery
The laptop overheats, like it’s about to take off. You prefer other women.
The snow is an afterthought to you, an obstacle to shovel out, a mass of cells: cancer or fetus
I leave myself behind on my walk. This snow walk will be unlike
other snow walks. This pregnancy will be unlike the other.
I will be a good mother this time, for most of the while
The moon doesn’t move but I have been tracking her
with my eyes for decades, always thinking I was being followed
I have a line on my forehead now. I have snow in my boots already.
Some snow sticks to my eyelash. In the abstract, men are already out with their shovels.
The moon did this, subjectively.
The thick bend of the spruce,
more than three hundred winters on its back.
This is your sixth winter.
I will walk you through it as you run ahead, your red sled already at the steepest spot of the hill.
You are so unlike me most of the time.
Snow is no explanation but I offer it anyway
I would have another child if it could be you. I would marry a man, on one condition :
Julia Anna Morrison has an MFA from The University of Iowa and her work has recently appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Adroit Journal, and The North American Review. Anna teaches at The University of Iowa and co-edits Two Peach, an online literary journal, with Catherine Pond. You can find her at www.juliannamorrison.com.