Late Winter in Montana

by Christina Murphy

we set up our tent on the hillside
within the last streaks of winter snow
and the nascent green of spring leaves;
we have come here on a promise
to recapture the connection we
felt in the mountains a handful of
years ago when we were certain;
it is too easy to say we have changed
yet we feel the loss and know that
what remains is tenuous like light
in an approaching darkness

we are not new to disappointment
and have accepted an ease that
holds us steady — just as gravity
holds tightly to the earth those objects
that might otherwise drift away

wishing we could speak of love
comes close to some hunger we
feel in our veins as truth;
a fragile hope remains that
our hearts can be resilient and
can merge like rivers into seas
without loss or diminishment

the wind is sullen as we drive the last spike
and the tent billows, fighting restraint
this is our haven now, our intrusion into
nature as refugees or penitents
what comfort to be found will
be of our own making in the
presence of the wind as witness to
to our efforts to love and to endure
here on this wintry hillside as the mountains
find the courage to prepare for spring

Christina Murphy‘s poetry appears or is forthcoming in a number of journals including, most recently, Abjective, Pool: A Poetry Journal, Splash of Red, Counterexample Poetics, and Blue Fifth Review. A native of Florida, she now lives and writes in a 100-year-old house along the Ohio River.

Back to Issue Six: Winter 2010