Return to Winter

Elaine Terranova

 
That day the starlings didn't eat.
That day was a sudden return
to winter. In the fields,
snow on a base of ice.
The birds couldn't bear
to set down except
on the clear face
of the road they remembered.
My husband leaned on the horn
the way you lean on a railing
until they lifted
before the unstoppable metal.
I pushed into the floorboard
as if I were doing the driving,
as if I could halt
the laws of physics,
while somewhere, my brother's chest
rose and sunk and rose.
So much you take for granted,
like going to sleep in spring
that you will wake in spring.
That the blossoms were right
to push out, there was
no contradiction.
But when we hit the slick
and slammed hard against
our own forward motion,
the roadbank spun
and the orchard of stunted trees
that had just begun to soften.
 
"Return to Winter" from Not To: New & Selected Poems, published by The Sheep Meadow Press. Copyright © 2006 by Elaine Terranova. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Hummingbird by Elaine Terranova
What with foresight and dancing
Mint by Elaine Terranova
Already, we'd be driving past
Shells by Elaine Terranova
In the heat, in the high grass
The Anniversary by Elaine Terranova
That night


Further Reading

Poems About Winter
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare
Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2 [Winter]
by William Shakespeare
Snow-Bound [The sun that brief December day]
by John Greenleaf Whittier
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Winter Without Snow
by J. D. McClatchy
An Old Man's Winter Night
by Robert Frost
Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
Fishing in Winter
by Ralph Burns
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Horoscope
by Maureen N. McLane
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
In drear nighted December
by John Keats
January
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion
On Snow
by James Parton
Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Places [III. Winter Sun]
by Sara Teasdale
Spellbound
by Emily Brontė
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
The Snow Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Visionary
by Emily Brontė
There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson
To a Locomotive in Winter
by Walt Whitman
Toward the Winter Solstice
by Timothy Steele
Triad
by Adelaide Crapsey
Untitled [Toward night]
by Kevin Goodan
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Winter
by Walter De La Mare
Winter Heavens
by George Meredith
Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)
by Emily Dickinson
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas
Winter Study
by Mark Wunderlich
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams
Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter
Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter: My Secret.
by Christina Rossetti