Alice Shapiro

Number 7

Train’s smoke-sounds faraway,
Bellows from the heater, a draft of air,
Cold floor, static electricity on a sweater.
Winter’s birthing
Rare, obscene and mother-naked.

To reach you is an iced agony –
One-sided, indolent,
Like a cat lingering in the sun after his master beckons.
Yet I abhor your misery
And fear, desolate, your plight.

Don’t believe in permanence.
The mirror casts a glacial image out from vanity.
How far do you want to gather, collect
Even in your infirmity?
I waltz without resting.

I shiver silent where winter should not settle
In this etched fortress
More in mind than fleshly.
The chill creeps up an unprotected limb
And frozen air narrates your history.

Alice Shapiro has published poetry in several anthologies including third prize winner in Poetry Connoisseur’s summer nationals. She has also published a chapbook (2007) with Scars Publications. Shapiro has had two plays produced and is winner of the Bill C. Davis Drama Award. She currently lives in a small town in Georgia.