Jeff Burt


The willows severed from the branch slipped between glass among water
still live

fragile buds in vibrant green unfurling on the windowsill
in indirect light

During this sheltering, I wake some mornings feeling not the amputee
but the amputated

the lower leg or arm up to the shoulder cut off and tossed, the awful desire
to be reunited with the body

but every day without the blood of concourse and attachment
loss grows

I have become more moderate with others, less expectant of ambition
overriding circumstance,

more attuned to the minuscule warmth of the moonlight on my face
in a crisp night, the smell of tannin,

the development of language in a child and the slow crawl his letters take
on a page as if blooming.

Editor’s Note: This poem describes the distress of sheltering during the pandemic and the survival of the human spirit using tender images from nature. The last line hints at the future hope and progress.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County and works in mental health. He has contributed to Gold Man Review, Williwaw Journal, Red Wolf Journal, Sheila-na-Gig, and Heartwood.

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