We Were Wrong, But Were Given Five Ruins to Consider for Winter | wisconsinacademy.org
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We Were Wrong, But Were Given Five Ruins to Consider for Winter

Honorable Mention Poem from our 2015 Poetry Contest

It is 76 degrees with no chance of snow for decades.
Some people don’t know what its like to live October through March
without blue sky.

So we don’t make ourselves any more of a mess, we talk
about about porcelain, bones of men who mine coal. We talk of alleluia,
the color of white cotton saturated with mud. Eventually, we sing.

Scattered around the Mall of America,
our brother. He never wanted to be left alone. He loved that Log Chute ride,
the lumberjack and speed of it all, all indoors.

Step five: acceptance. We think we understand. Then, we use our words.

Breathe in, please. Is this painful? Deep breaths. This?
Yes. Everything hurts, Doctor. Why else would the heart become a bomb?

This season is so much harder than we imagined.
Our niece took all the birds in her pockets, smashed them and made
this beautiful dress – see?

If she turned quickly, she became a merry-go-round,
no longer rusted. The birds, they flew back up and away, the sky turned white,

white from swatches of feathers overlapping mid-motion
above the park’s broken glass. In case you were worried that she hurt them,
no—you can still hear their chattering on telephone wires,

where they pick up and transmit our conversations.
Now you know how the gossip travels in this neighborhood.



Christine Holm is a Wisconsin native that has called Madison home since moving there to complete her undergraduate degree. She currently works for the Department of Health and Family Services.

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