This was the 2013 Tiferet Writing Contest Prize Winner for Poetry. Read the entire poem and the rest of the issue by downloading it here.
Sunrise: luminous pink orange flare
in the east. I wanted rain, solid respite,
gray shelter. I make coffee in a blue mug
today, not maroon. A token: something
over, something begun. At sunset the Day
of Atonement starts; the celebration of
the New Year ending. Today is the first
day of the year after my brother’s death.
Whether I atone or mourn or give up
mourning I’ll take the weather as I must.
I won’t forget how much I want rain.
On the porch, it’s tropical, the blue
ether so humid you’re breathing water.
My blue cup is full of coffee, my head
of dream reflection desire distraction
impulse story. This is the day of the
second step, the third, journey’s labor.
The new is not new. We are at the bottom
of a gray sea, light filtering down laced
with blackness. How much did it rain?
Will it rain again? A swoop of bird in
front of me then up to the porch,
the second story. If the first story
is the blue mug, the second rain,
is the third story the new year
or the old grief?
SANDRA KOHLER’S third collection of poems, Improbable Music, appeared in May, 2011 from Word Press. Her second collection, The Ceremonies of Longing, winner of the 2002 AWP Award Series in Poetry, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in November, 2003. An earlier volume, The Country of Women, was published in 1995 by Calyx Books. Her poems have appeared over the past thirty-five years in journals including Prairie Schooner, The New Republic, Beloit Poetry Journal, APR, Natural Bridge, The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, and The Colorado Review.
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