Joyce Peseroff


La Madone des Fleurs by Rebekah West

Twenty days of twenty below drove frost deep into the ground.
Its rage at being buried alive throws stones, cracks blacktop.
By day freshets of snowmelt surge through the woodshed.
At night they freeze our front door shut.
The kitchen sink won’t drain: the pipe’s a hand-hold for climbing ice.
I boil and pour kettle after kettle, open an artery to spring’s cold heart.
Each frozen crystal requires a nucleus, particle bound to a lattice as rigid as copper.
Let’s let the nub of our bitterness go.
Around us, winter’s dissolving.
The road is mud, but it’s still a road.


About the writer:
Joyce Peseroff’s fifth book of poems, Know Thyself, was named a “must-read” by the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award. Recent poems have or will appear in Massachusetts Review, Plume, On the Seawall, and Salamander.

Image: La Madone des Fleurs by Rebekah West. Fine art photograph. No technical information specified. By 2019. By permission.