Betsy Martin


She walked one chilly late-
fall day along the marsh
when the brittle milkweed pods
were spilling their fluff.

The ungenerous air
had stiffened and slit open
and the yolky-thick,
late-afternoon light
oozing out
obscured her vision.
She strained her eyes
and stumbled.

She wondered at the give of time,
how it could shrink
to a white fist,

or spread its fingers wide
in fragrant petals,

as it had when she’d
stood near this spot in spring
under a blossoming tree
and stayed there
several years―
the air was so buoyant and warm,
the world
spread out, abundant,
in the grass beneath.

The Briar Cliff Review, 2017