Today's poem is by Gregory Djanikian

First Winter in America

I walked out into the January blizzard,
my breath froze into small clouds,
and ice was hanging from the trees.

The dunes were dreamy animals;
I heard shovels striking music.

White eyelashes, white mittens,
I thought I could become
whatever I touched.

A year before, in another language,
I held the desert in my hand,
I tasted the iridescent sea.

Now I stayed quiet, afraid
I would never see it again, the sky
shattered into a million pieces
and falling around me.

I watched my mother inside
walking back and forth in her heavy coat,
and my sister rubbing her hands
to make some kind of spark.

I could imagine furnaces rumbling
all over America, heat rising
through the vents, parching the air.

And I stayed where I was,
someplace I had no name for,
not for the snow or my standing still
and watching it fall

beautiful wreckage
with hardly a sound.

Copyright © 2012 Gregory Djanikian All rights reserved
from Smartish Pace
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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