This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Genevieve Pfeiffer, is from Woman Drinking Absinthe by Katherine E. Young, released by Alan Squire Publishing in 2020.
February ushers in winter’s rain,
teasing the boxwoods, the trellis roses
nodding in the yard. A lonely crocus
raises its head, unable to refrain
despite lingering snow, silvery scrim
mantling the sun. Houseplants sink into
melancholy, recline swooning on window
frames cracked and swollen from the heat within.
Early mornings I tend them, sprinkle cool
water on their petals; their parched, pale leaves
nuzzle against my hand. Like young children,
like new lovers, they’ve no better sense
than to seek my caress: they must believe
in old wives’ tales, promise of renewal.
Katherine E. Young is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Woman Drinking Absinthe, Day of the Border Guards (2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist), and two chapbooks. She is the editor of Written in Arlington and curator of Spoken in Arlington. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Subtropics, and many others. She is the translator of Look at Him by Anna Starobinets, Farewell, Aylis and Stone Dreams by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli, and two poetry collections by Inna Kabysh. From 2016-2018, she served as the inaugural poet laureate for Arlington, Virginia.
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