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 is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently The Snow’s Wife (CavanKerry Press, 2020) and If Mercy (The Word Works, 2016). She is the winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award, the Perugia Prize, the May Swenson Award, and the Washington Prize. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has taught numerous workshops on the poetry of grief and trauma. She is also a classical pianist.