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2065: Wintering | Kevin Young

"Wintering"
Kevin Young

I am no longer ashamed
how for weeks, after, I wanted
to be dead - not to die,

mind you, or do
myself in - but to be there
already, walking amongst

all those I'd lost, to join
the throng singing,
if that's what there is -

or the nothing, the gnawing -
So be it. I wished
to be warm - & worn -

like the quilt my grandmother
must have made, one side
a patchwork of color -

blues, green like the underside
of a leaf - the other
an old pattern of the dolls

of the world, never cut out
but sewn whole - if the world
were Scotsmen & sailors

in traditional uniforms.
Mourning, I've learned, is just
a moment, many,

grief the long betrothal
beyond. Grief what
we wed, ringing us -

heirloom brought
from my father's hot house -
the quilt heavy tonight

at the foot of my marriage bed,
its weight months of needling
& thread. Each straightish,

pale, uneven stitch
like the white hairs I earned
all that hollowed year - pull one

& ten more will come,
wearing white, to its funeral -
each a mourner, a winter,


gathering ash at my temple.

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a poem some days

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