Poem in Which We Count the Weeks Backward
On the anniversary, a faint glaze hits
the trail: the season hinged with frost, weeds
latched into a feathered crust. We notice the squirrels
have learned to regrow their limbs, the raccoons
become quicker, experts at evading the headlights'
paired eyes spinning down the highway. The deer
get up from where they lay beside pavement, and
the birds that had hurled their small bodies headlong
into propellers or glass begin stretching their wings,
slowly at first and later, after the thin bones
of evening have broken apart, take to the sky again.
In the back field, the coyotes carry on with
their raucous party. We wish them well, then head back
inside where the double-paned windows remain clear.
Night fissures, then collapses. Change impends.
It is frivolous, you remind me, to order curtains.
J.L. Conrad is the author of one full-length collection, A Cartography of Birds (Louisiana State University Press, 2002), and a chapbook, Species of Light (bellywater press, 2004). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in H_NGM_N, Pleiades, Columbia, Third Coast, Jellyfish, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, The Laurel Review and Forklift, Ohio, among others. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is working toward her PhD in literary studies.