For Once, Then, Something by Alicia Ostriker


When we came up out of the subway
It was snowing and dark

and the silhouettes
of shoppers moved to and fro

festively among the blurred lights
the taxis and buses like slow

undersea creatures
carried snow on their backs

underfoot it was turning to slush
we were not defeated

we rejoiced in the snow
the cold dreamy vastness of air

a crowd was exiting a church
they too were happy

and a man walking alone
said “wow” to himself



Major American poet and critic Alicia Ostriker has been twice nominated for a National Book Award, and is the author of fourteen volumes of poetry, including The Book of Seventy (2009), which won the Jewish Book Award for Poetry, and The Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog, published in 2014. Ostriker’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Antaeus, The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Atlantic, MS, Tikkun, and many other journals, and her work has been widely anthologized.