by Donna M. Marbach

Like a miniature plow,
an albino squirrel pushes
snow aside
to make a path
from the stand of pines
to once thyme patches
where buried
walnuts lay.
Its front claws
chew through snow,
spewing flakes
round both head and tail
— a small, fierce blizzard —
perhaps the last
we’ll see till spring.

Meanwhile, a neighbor’s orange cat
tip-toes along the white wood
edges of its porch.
It shakes each paw
that touches cold or wet,
seeking sun to warm itself.
It yawns and stretches,
does not see
the squirrel.

White on white.
Veiled by its own uncommonness,
the ghostly squirrel pushes forward
invisible, inviolate,
wanting only walnuts.

But already the canvas
of our yard shows dabs
of brown and grey.
Soon daffodils will spatter it
with yellow-gold and lemon.
Winter’s white will melt
into lilac blooms and roses.
The apple tree will blossom.
Our lawn grow fragrant
with wild clover.

Both a visual artist and a poet, Donna M. Marbach has published non-fiction, fiction, and poetry in a variety of anthologies and periodicals. Most recently, she has been the poetry editor of the national writers’ magazine, Byline, and has previously edited for FootHills Press, a small poetry publisher in Kanona, NY. She is co-founder and past president of Just Poets Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the celebration of poetry and poets. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blueline, Hazmat Review, Homestead Review, Quercus Review, Sea Stories, The MacGuffin, The Red WheelBarrow, Silk Road, The Tipton Poetry Review, Limestone, and Pearl. In February of 2008, she was the featured poet in the on-line journal The Centrifugal Eye.

Back to Issue Two: Winter 2009