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About this poet

Jill Osier’s chapbook from won the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award and is forthcoming from Bull City Press in 2018. She is also the author of the chapbooks Should Our Undoing Come Down Upon Us White (Bull City Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 Frost Place Chapbook Competition, and Bedful of Nebraskas (sunnyoutside, 2012). She lives in Alaska.

Elegy

Not every day but most days that summer

I went calmly and quietly and climbed

to the sixth floor of the library and walked

not fast and not slow but with purpose

down the last row and reached

almost without looking to the same

place on the shelf and pulled out

the large book and carried it to a chair

that looks out toward the ridge, to a mountain

that is there, whether it is or it isn’t,

the mountain people love, maybe for this,

love and die with all their love,

trying, and I opened to the page

where I left off before, and sometimes the library

announced it was closing, sometimes I got hungry,

sometimes it looked like rain, and I’d close the book

and carry it again, with purpose, back to its exact

place on the shelf, and I’d walk down the stairs

and out of the building, and it was like

I’d left it ticking.

Copyright © 2017 Jill Osier. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Jill Osier. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2017.

Jill Osier

Jill Osier

Jill Osier’s chapbook from won the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.

by this poet

poem
Winter, friend, I get it. We are having a long talk 
and have just gotten into the thick of it.  
 
Days ago the signs were there.  
I was the only thing dark and moving 
 
through the white woods, and my leg kept leaving me
small grey commas
2
poem
I’ll tell you this: I am the only part of winter left.
It beckoned and I followed, past all reason,
followed it like the end of a broken train
through white woods, and I stayed, with simple tools,
set on trying to construct more of a season. It has taken
all of me
poem
Sometimes a flag quietly appears
and leads one to a camp in the snow.
 
Oh, I am sick. I fade, I fall,
I curse this month, all it wants
 
to be. Its lot is the same
each time, unthawed.
 
Yet it taunts.
Dreamer