Still cold enough for gloves. So pushing through
the weeping willow curtains meant bamboo
hung segmented and winter-colored, chains
that swallowed something lumpy – strings of beads
or new-fed boas maybe. Walk-through ropes
of what would soon be willows, feathery,
but which looked more like pastel fingers now:
elongated, arthritic. Like a door
into a warmer universe, you pause,
imagining the shimmer on your face
and naked shoulders, woody grasses pierced
like flutes with birds to whistle them. The lumps
are solid though, like Ovid's pregnant tree –
and when you push through, nothing changes. March.
Kathryn Jacobs is a medievalist with two books, three chapbooks, no fellowships, no poets-in-residence, and no contest finalists of any kind.