The Subject of Retreat

Your black coat is a door
in the storm. The snow
we don’t mention
clings to your boots & powders
& puffs. & poof. Goes.
Dust of the fallen. Right here
at home. The ache
of someone gone-missing. Walk it off
like a misspoken word.
Mound of snow. Closed door.
I could open it.

Or maybe just, you know—
brush it off.

Then what? The snow
on the other side. The sound
of what I know & your, no, inside it.


Copyright © 2015 by Yona Harvey. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“Writing this poem I was thinking of strangers helping to dig a friend’s car out of the snow; how that friend, born in France, once expressed frustration with Americans who teach children to fear strangers; why snowfall in Pittsburgh can feel routine and defeating; domestic abuse; and how to collapse those thoughts into one space.”
Yona Harvey