Winter's coming in her uneasy voice and I haven't settled a thing of the season. I haven't made any notations of passage like Dora out in the yard, stooped in her satin slip and hairnet with tears speaking to nobody passing by as she spends another day watching the last few leaves drop from the young ash almost shed. Or the man in the large house up on the corner—it's been four months since his wife left with her best friend. He’s dying his hair black, and tucking in a new white shirt ready to find a pretty woman on her way to someplace else to love and care for him before the onset of long dark nights. Or like Edith braiding a circle of cornhusks around her head and peeing on the barn floor, straight on a chilltear running down her hard face—she’s flag-draped and wrapped up in layers of muslin like gauze posing for strangers, with America on her mind. Or the sweet-faced man fatigued in camouflage, limp on his body in the rain. He smells like a thousand cigarettes as he mutters that he left Vietnam forty-five years ago to escape rain. Fading light drains geraniums left out on the lawn and cooler air is folding into focused moments under sky so blue it'd make you cry, and everything's curling up like cats waiting on top of the register for the hum of artificial heat. In bed, you're never chilled like me. Without covers you sleep naked, settled in, weaving the corn-moon rising into children brave and strong, fullborn with a sense of harvest before they plant.
Susan Friberg lives and writes in the Denver area. She's a member of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop where she has just completed a manuscript of poems. She attended the University of Iowa, and the University of Colorado where she studied photography and graduated with a degree in English. Recently, she served for 2 years with AmeriCorps, working as a health coach and community health worker at a family medicine clinic in Denver. She recently was selected for the Francine Ringold award for new writers in poetry (Nimrod International Journal).