My Living

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Be like grass, the phantom told us:
lie flat, spring up.

Fanny Howe, “The Monk and Her Seaside Dreams”

Eight inches of snow
and the city lies paralyzed,
sunny but cold.

Some strong young men
have come to shovel the walk.
I could not heft the weight
of frozen water, with bent back.

Summer, and we killed our herbs.
Winter, and even our cacti dry.
Under the snow, no one sees
the thinning grass where a tree
once grew. Every living thing
struggles against the shadows
of former flora and fauna.
The phantom tells us to rebound,
and dutifully we try its command.

Nature flattens and raises me
like the grass we are to have.
I must surrender, and sit frozen,
then scorched, under temperatures
of derision and elation. I improve
my resilience each improvisation.
Decades pass, and I grow,
awaiting only gentler seasons.

Katherine Davis

Katherine Davis

Katherine Davis has written poetry since the eighth grade and is pleased to have her adult efforts reach a wider audience. She studied at the University of Rochester and Duke University and taught composition for five years at Idaho State University in Pocatello. She currently works as a writer in Washington, D.C.
Katherine Davis

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