To the Winter Woods

by Tarn W.P. MacArthur

Snow, and only snow,
and the space between flakes
where we hide our hearts;
under the curved glass of winter
the moon is low, slight,
pouring shadows
where I wake upstream.

As a child I scoured
these woods, put lips
to cold damp bark: hematic
sweetness of the maple sap–
secret to the night-bird tongues
licking notes from white-frocked
branches, shattering the air
where I stand fast-rooted
as the trees whose blood
flows down and through my feet.

When the sun rises I melt,
wake again years later–
the soft babble of voices
rises from the bedrock and rests
deliquesce on the glass-pane
where I stare: always
through the silver
fingers of the maples.

Tarn W.P. MacArthur is a recent graduate of the University of the Pacific in California. A native of Montreal, Canada, he currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work is forthcoming in The Columbia Review, and has most recently appeared in Leonard Cohen: You’re Our Man, a tribute anthology published by The Foundation for Public Poetry.

Back to Issue Six: Winter 2010