photo of Krysia Jopek by Steve Yau


Does it hurt very much, the missing limb of your tree?
Does the birdsong soothe or simply remove you?
I have moot questions, a hobby like whittling.
And when there is nothing left, where shall I go with such
Emptiness? If the throat closes, will the birds still sing?
I dreamed the dog ran out in the snow of two houses ago
And did not return. He is here, but I already miss him.
The children are careless, and I envy them that.
I will go to the hospital with people-sized peonies.
The crimson silk petals, a bed for fear and forgetting.
A handful of dust? A handful of musical notes:
Stay with us. Stay singing, adding up the figures
Into a shifting sum.

(c) 2013 by Krysia Jopek

Krysia Jopek’s poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Phoebe, Murmur, Windhover, and Artists & Influence. She has written reviews of poetry for The American Book Review and a review of literary criticism for The Wallace Stevens Journal. Maps and Shadows, her first novel (Aquila Polonica 2010), won a Silver Benjamin Franklin award in 2011 in the category of Historical Fiction. The Glass House of Forgetting, her second novel (literary fiction), is forthcoming.