Thaw

By Jean Howard

Healing the heartache

of winter,

running in mummers

down the hill,

 

Falling, great chunks,

like globs from the rooftop,

 

Agitated and shifting,

moaning and trickling,

dropping off of corners,

all glue to shoe soles,

all groaning of crocus

and snipping through snow

by blades of sharp iris,

 

It is water whose poem

grows restless from under,

now ticking,

small droplets of adjectives

and verbs,

 

Aching to surface

in warm stabs of sunlight,

to the shock of chartreuse

floating above ground.

 

It is water that pours

its veil of forgiveness.

It’s glistening baptism,

icy pools by the road,

and seeks us out—

 

That we might be

redeemed.

 

___

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, performance poet, Jean Howard, resided in Chicago from 1979 to 1999. She has since returned to Salt Lake City. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Off The Coast, Clackamas Literary Review, Harper’s Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Eclipse, Folio, Fugue, Fulcrum, Crucible, Gargoyle, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Burning World, The Distillery, Pinch, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pisgah Review, Pinch, ken*again, The Cape Rock, Quiddity Literary Journal, Grasslimb, Rattlesnake Review, Concho River Review, Spillway, Spoon River Review, Willard & Maple, Wisconsin Review, Chicago Tribune, among seventy other literary publications. Featured on network and public television and radio, she has combined her poetry with theater, art, dance, video, and photography.

A participant in the original development of the nationally acclaimed “Poetry Slam,” at the Green Mill, she has been awarded two grants for the publication of her book, Dancing In Your Mother’s Skin (Tia Chucha Press), a collaborative work with photographer, Alice Hargrave. She has been organizing the annual National Poetry Video Festival since 1992, with her own award-winning video poems, airing on PBS, cable TV, and festivals around the nation.


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