Low sky, slow air, and nothing much
stirs in the mind either, save thoughts
of my distant mother moving from bed
to chair to table and back again.
Now she is calm, the days passing
like ghost ships through the long
winter, as words grow harder to
extricate from the mind’s dark hoard,
and record cold etches the floor-to-ceiling
windows with a creeping thick lace
even the afternoon sun can’t penetrate.
Outside, a volley of male voices, trying
to jumpstart someone’s frozen battery.
Inside, her hands on the chair’s padded
arms, and her feet, laced into heavy-
gauge running shoes without a mark
on them, parallel, facing forward.




Julie Bruck’s third book, Monkey Ranch, received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2012. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New YorkerThe Puritan, and The New Quarterly. Her new book, How To Avoid Huge Ships (Brick Books) is forthcoming in 2018. Julie is a resolute Canadian who lives in San Francisco.




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