Ruth Foley: "January Thaw"




Show me the earth, the scrap of black,

some ground free of squalid snow.

Show me the place to sink and I will

drop there, my knees wet through to bone.

Show me the path that leads to water

that will not hold me up or crack or numb,

show the sunfish and the minnow,                                

the pearl mussel-edged and subdued.


I am waiting to give myself to the melt.

I am flesh around a pillar of ice. I radiate

to the underside of my skin, no farther.

What I would not do for you. What I would

not ask you for. This afternoon, I slept a while

and the sun ended unnoticed around me.


Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Adroit, Bellingham Review, and Sou’wester. She is the author of three chapbooks: Dear Turquoise (dancing girl press), Creature Feature (ELJ Publications), and the forthcoming Sink and Drift (dancing girl press). Foley serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.