The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Then Winter” by Chloe Honum


Before Group Meditation

I recall splendor.
On a borrowed bicycle,
I wobbled fast

downhill over jutting roots,
a swarm of horseflies
like a grainy moon

following close behind.
At the bottom of the hill,
a little rain shining in

a corner of wind.
Now the upbeat counselor
passes around a basket

of rocks. My friend Dan,
the Vietnam vet, says,
I knew I wasn’t going to be smart

so boy I was going to be tough.
All his sentences are like that,
clean as autumn. Each afternoon

we sit in a circle. I take a rock,
I wish you were here,
and I pass the basket on.

This selection comes from the chapbook Then Winter, available from Bull City Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for August is Donna Vorreyer.

Chloe Honum was raised in Auckland, New Zealand. Her first collection, The Tulip-Flame (2014), was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, won the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award and a Texas Institute of Letters Award, and was named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. She’s also the author of a chapbook, Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Southern Review, and her awards include a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. She is currently an assistant professor at Baylor University.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013), as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks. She works as a middle school teacher in the Chicago suburbs.


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