It snowed today: at last, I understood
they were not joking when they said mid-May
would still be ice. My tender waterplants
brought up with loss of blood from Tennessee
unrooted, drape the new pond’s depth, and fish
seek what they can beneath the drowning leaves.
And so in Houston: in that summer, I
could not anticipate November frost
and planted tropicals around the ponds.
There’s sadness in a burning leaf, when ice
has broken down cell walls, and loss reveals
deficiencies of structure and design
hidden before by blossoms. I should know
to listen to the voices of a place,
to listen to her voice. But I go on:
tomorrow, miscanthus will line the edge
and give a place to rest, until what sun
this slope can promise quickens my new blood.
W. F. Lantry
W.F. Lantry spent many years walking the deserts and climbing the mountains of Southern California. Now he spends time roaming the Eastern Forests from Maryland to Vermont and gardening beside Washington, DC’s Anacostia River. His poetry collections are The Terraced Mountain (Little Red Tree 2015), The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, and The Language of Birds (2011). He received his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors' Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), Comment Magazine Poetry Award (Canada), Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award (France), Old Red Kimono Paris Lake Poetry Prize and Potomac Review Prize. His work has appeared widely online and in print. He is the editor of Peacock Journal.