Holding on

Seven days since the storm
snowed itself out and moved east, and still
the fat clots of white lodge themselves
in the twig forks, held up to the world
to be noticed. I shot it all on film to help
my memory of how cold feels.
Most of all, I had to catch this snow fruit
crotched in place by the black dogwood,
snared by a relentless frost that won’t
let go, won’t give in, even to the sun.

The integrity of the season’s fierce
cold. How rigidly it holds
the winter fruit’s secret crystals,
inviolate, persistent at the heart.

On my dining table, in a wood
bowl, wait the five dried pomegranates
I have saved for a friend. Like me, for now,
decay has passed them by, their red skin
dried to a tough brown leather,
the little teeth of sepals crimped
in a crown of sharp kisses that guard
the secret seeds, dark purses
for juice that will never be spilled.

Luci Shaw

All poems are copyrighted by Luci Shaw.
To be reprinted only by permission of the author.