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Spring/Summer 2021

After a Snow

Jessica Temple

all week I've slept under extra blankets
dogs stacked next to me one two three
like a toppled black totem pole

it's cold but the snow is gone
here it lasted less than an hour
turned to rain and washed away

just a few miles away though
grass still hides under inches
roads patched with invisible ice

and to the south the river thickens
swelled with mud and melt
until it finally spills its banks

it will rage and recede rage and recede
making its way west and strangely north
through the frozen fields of Tennessee

slither to the far side of Kentucky
where still swollen and grimy
it gives over to the Ohio

in Paducah it releases the load
amassed over miles of mud
then snuggles in its bed to rest

[Check out Jessica Temple's back porch advice]