Joannie Stangeland: "Then the Wind Kicks In"



We’ve swung in this season’s plunge
oh—so many times, trees bare
in our damned bones, nerves frayed
like old wires, knob and tube
fuse box in the basement where
the window’s raw mouth says nothing.

After all the gold autumn spent
we hear our ghosts in echoes,
feel how frost threads its killing
lace (cast on a wilder night,
brocade—the sheet before snow
unfolds its blanket), a surface
cracked as the falling sky shot
through, stamped by the crescent
moon, a sword or a scar.

Water ferries its own dark—then the wind
kicks in, stiff leaves harried
like that gray mare ever by the fence
and the sky’s last blue smiting
swift steel against your eyes.


Joannie Stangeland's poems have appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Tulane Review, Superstition Review, and other journals. Her third book, Into the Rumored Spring, was published by Ravenna Press, and she is also the author of two poetry chapbooks.