ANOTHER EASTER SNOWSTORM
Fire in the wood stove doesn’t snap so much
as whine against this April storm.
I wince at chunks of snow clotting pines,
the vulnerable new leaves
of the copper rose. Downstairs
La Virgen de Guadalupe smudges
Easter eve, rolls her eyes
in disbelief at this surfeit of white.
Her memory fastens on
crucifix-shaped cacti, the thin arms
of the camposino with a machete
she blinded in a field of maguey.
Nose in his tail, the white wolf
is the question mark of a ghost
praying for the resurrection of the sun.
In his world there is no sin
to run from, just the body
and blood of the deer
wholly in his belly.
Snow drops love notes from the dead
no one wants yet to open. Did I ever feel
renewal at Easter or was it always
just another knock knock rabbit joke,
jelly beans, fake grass in baskets,
dyeing eggs, our arms and dog paws,
the only time besides Christmas
that Mom made us go to church?
What I remember of redemption was ham
and new potatoes with dill, the funeral
smell of hyacinth and tulips
with their unyeilding lips, and the way
Christ’s wounds terrified the day,
the storm of bloody thorns and nails
ordained by a father who thundered
punishment, not love. I was confused
by the frail architecture of grace.
I remember my grandma would slip
a twenty into my palm, feed
me chocolate-covered orange rinds,
tell me again about picking mushrooms
in the Carpathian Mountains, the way
her mother’s eyes rolled after she ran
to the river to listen to gypsies sing,
and she’d have to confess to the priest
who would later try to rape her.
When she told me she escaped, Easter
seemed almost real.
Now, snow blinds the trees. With
one eye on the wolf, we huddle
nearer the stove. This morning
when the clouds finally lift, will we
see, what was behind sky’s intention
to transform, budding green?
Pam Uschuk is the author of five collections of poems, the latest, Crazy Love, published by Wings Press, and a chapbook, Pam Uschuk's Greatest Hits (Pudding House Press, 2009). Her work has appeared widely in literary journals, including Poetry, Parnassus, Agni, Ploughshares, and others. Uschuk’s prizes include the Struga International Poetry Prize, as well as awards from the National League of American PEN Women, Simi Valley, Chester H. Jones Foundation, Iris, Ascent, and Amnesty International. She is also Editor In Chief of Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts.