16 Stanzas in February

Talvikki Ansel

The cow pasture and starlingsthat settle all at once like a blanket,dark raisins over the cows’ heads,                                    *lone goose, flying down riverthird violin, does it hope to catch up                                    *did it not notice the gathering,others heaving themselves from the pond?                                   *third violin in the shadow ofthe violas, who would like to be a viola                                    *rich-voiced as a blue-tick coonhound.                                    *In February, sun edges the tree trunkslike a talent still to show itself,maybe the third violin would slide intothe seconds,                                    *the adolescent in “Personal Use Typing”realize she could slow down and make no mistakes,                                    *an acceptable skillfor the world of work.                                    *When a new chicken was introducedshe was first boss of the flock but now they allget along: scrutinize my boots,mittened hand reaching into the grain pail,                                    *the radius of a white bowl.                                    *To see them together is to forgetone was the boss, one ate a mouse,one was intent on finding seeds                                    *in the curved wrists of the maple roots.                                    *The latch on the front door opensas you bring in firewood, blows openthe back door                                    *  sends cats up the walls of the mudroomto cling to the shelfwith its faded bottle of soap bubbles,                                    *an empty wand, frozen, open-mouthed,                                    *March, all that deceptive lightbut no fruits yet.

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Talvikki Ansel’s most recent book of poems is Somewhere in Space (The Ohio State University Press, The Journal Award in Poetry).


Spring 2018

Oberlin, Ohio

Oberlin College

David Young
David Walker

Associate Editors
Pamela Alexander
Kazim Ali
DeSales Harrison
Lynn Powell

Managing Editor
Marco Wilkinson

Martha Collins

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