National Poetry Month is here and with it a second series of Poets on Couches. In these videograms, poets read and discuss the poems that helps them through these strange times – they send straight from their couches to yours. These readings bring intimacy into our spaces of isolation, both through the affinity of poetry and the warmth of being able to speak to one another over distances.
“Letters in Winter”
by Maya C. Popa
Issue No. 236 (spring 2021)
There are no more leaves on this tree
on which a bird is sitting this morning
the snowy sky that never arrives
The sun itself hardly rises. In the cloud cover
Nothing, it’s easy to be afraid
overlooked by something that was meant
bear. It is difficult to think clearly today
through pain, some actual,
most presented; future pain I try lame
to prepare for it by turning your voice
in my head or I imagine the day
I’m not going to hug my father anymore, his grip
for the time being, but still desperate.
In the café, a woman describes lilacs
in your garden. She speaks of spring
life after this. The first thing
to go when I close the book between us
is the book; Silence, his own alphabet,
and still something so dear about it.
Spring is coming, I say over and over again.
I will ask that what I have lost does not grow back.
I see how winter forbids:
the heart grows by diminishing everything else
and demands that we keep trying.
I’m trying. But oh, to understand us
any of us, and not to mourn?
Carrie Fountain is the author of three volumes of poetry, the last one The livingand serves as the Texas Poet Award Winner.