A cold boxelder bug struggles
forward, its black carapace blazoned
with red. This path goes down
to unmarked graves. Flowers here
used to be blue, rose, pale yellow.
What course of renewal is there?
Trance, dream, speculation?
My left hand puzzles, lifting
a two-inch-long naked doll
from the wild grasses. I need
a river story, black oaks, rough gravel
roads. What comes is a paperweight
snowstorm, horizon line hazed,
waiting, everything stained by indigo
shadows. I’m atoms in snow now.
Winter weeds stand guard. Call it
luck. Call it beauty—chickweed,
nettles, henbit, yellow hop clover.
Barbara Daniels’ Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Chiron Review, Cleaver, Faultline, Small Orange, Meridian, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.