You sent a photo of landscape utterly removed
from mine, where bare-branched trees are coming into bud,
greeny-yellow snouts of bulbs nosing up
through last year's leaves,
great gray winds creaking and breaking,
sudden snow squalls sending whirls of winter
wildness swirling even as spring sidles in.
You sent a photo of hard-packed earth, shades of gold,
tawny stretch of ridge and hollow, harsh-carved
furrows slashing through ungreened ground.
Whose inner landscape more matches the outer?
Whose outlook promises hope, deep-rooted in the faith
of life perennially returning and whose is more in line
with stark beauty of desert spaces, where life clings
to whatever foothold it can grasp,
and against all odds
She has small hands that fit in a man's palm
like a daughter's. Strong hands
all the same, crab claws or snapping turtle
jaws, biting through to the bone
if you get too close. Others
must reach. She spreads fingers
like a star and you fall
into her orbit.
Carole Greenfield grew up in Columbia and lives in New England where she teaches multilingual learners at a public elementary school. Her work has appeared in Sky Island Journal, Amethyst Review and Humana Obscura among others. Her first collection of poetry titled, Weathering Agents can be purchased HERE