Snow Falls Off Bare Branch by Diane DeCillis

Snow Falls Off Bare Branch

 

At a reading, the poet responds to the art
of the Japanese woodblock. But I only see
the man’s head blocking my view,

white hair combed counterclockwise, hiding
terrain where grass no longer grows—
pale heart of a lone chrysanthemum.

As the poet cites Hiroshige’s cobalt skies,
that mum becomes lotus on the bald pond
at Shinobu. By the time she references

Wild Geese Flying Across a Crescent Moon,
I migrate to the edge of my seat,
glimpse the side of his face. Hair parted

at the temple, it swoops his forehead—
Hokusai’s Great Wave. The poet shows
thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji, I see but one,

barren land between distant mountain
and shrouded roof. She recites haikus
for the four seasons. I hear Winter:

Snow covered pine boughs
hold promise of green until
a gust shakes them bare.


Diane DeCillis
Diane DeCillis writes at her desk in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Her poetry collection, Strings Attached (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2014) has been honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2015 and is the winner of The 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for poetry. It was also named a finalist for the Forward Indie Fab Book Award for poetry. She’s been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, and Best American Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in CALYX, Evansville Review, Minnesota Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, Rattle, Slipstream, Southern Indiana Review, William and Mary Review, and numerous other journals.

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