Frannie Lindsay

Silent Night & Pleasure
November 23, 2022 Lindsay Frannie

Silent Night


If you dare to let yourself out
in the starry cold, and sing


just under your breath
so your lamp flickers almost


to nothing, a giraffe will approach
from the veldt on legs that float


on a wind all their own,
teats swaying with belly-warm milk


for her calf, hidden
behind the lowest baobab limb. Then


she will bend her neck low
in the listening grasses, pause


as if she hears you,
offer her infant


a few leaves from Heaven, and keep
her distance.





Although the young sow will be slaughtered
tomorrow, right now there is every reason
to hope: a bucket of bruised apples


rests by her trough; the cold sun has taken
a few minutes longer to vanish
behind the silo;


a weed of a boy leans in the barn door’s frame,
one thumb in a belt loop, smoking deeply.
O goddess of all we know


and don’t know, accept this meager praise
for the worried wind that lifts his hair;
for the sweet-faced


centerfold pressed in his sock drawer, blind
to his lust; for moonlight
rendering the meadow ablaze with clover.

Frannie Lindsay’s sixth volume of poetry, The Snow’s Wife, was released in 2020 from Cavankerry Press. Her awards include the May Swenson Award, the Perugia Prize, the Benjamin Saltman Award, the Washington Prize, The Missouri Review Prize, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and numerous periodicals such as The Yale Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Plume, Under a Warm Green Linden, and Field. She teaches workshops on the poetry of grief. She is also a classical pianist.