Winter, on the Spring

By Francesca Leader


The pool woke rib songs

when ice breathed on our heads.

Nakedness and faith springing like ice declared,

Dark air waiting to take it, Star Observant,

the warmth of remembered water

to wake joy’s alarm.


-Sometime the dark trees

will pierce the path,

Deep as a white breast, the courage of ice

against the earth,

Sparkling and Brazen.


I will watch You, engender the Quiet,

Then cracking it with a branch, for both of Us.

Black sky, float and shuddering,

Then our one arm,

In path with the stars,

Will take The Night.



_____ ____ ___ __ _


Francesca Leader is a writer and artist whose fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the J Journal, CutBank, Coffin Bell, and elsewhere. Her original translation of the iconic Japanese “iroha” poem was awarded first prize in the Society of Classical Poets’ 2021 Poetry Translation Competition. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @moon.in.a.bucket.

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