local_library Valentine’s

by Robert Lietz

Published in Issue No. 20 ~ January, 1999

The rain turns snow more quickly
than we’d guessed, near Ashland say,
squinting through snow, through lyrics now,
the ice and building ice in winter fields.
And so the shoulders whitening. So love
at fifty-one, the snows assisting
the pace of taking in. We’ll get this meeting
out of us. And the first words,
like repeated samplings, finding enough
to say for days, finding such warmth
when cold would set its hold on visiting,
building ourselves as is, and love
at fifty-one, even as love had seemed,
for forty years imagining.
So you are the lift and scope and book and best of this!
And what if the ice, iced curves,
the traffic in suspense, must slow me as I come,
the buses abrupt in squinting snow,
so little daylight left, filled with these spots of geese,
come lining into weather, a broken
and re-collecting form, existing in almost
mindful sleet, over this slush I think
must build predictably, until the moonlight’s
visiting, the moonlight’s worked
its change on everything, over imperfect
/perfecting love – following
desire’s lead and sighing our verb’s worth,
become the dawn’s first freshening –
here where you’ve found me now /struck
by this snow made light
among the shading limbs and deadfall
/by these words – this poem – before
I’ve found the words for it?

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Robert Lietz is a professor of English and Creative Writing (fiction and poetry) at Ohio Northern University. Two hundred and fifty of his poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, including Agni Review, Carolina Quarterly, Epoch, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, and Poetry. Seven collections of poems have been published, including Running in Place (1979, L'Epervier Press,) At Park and East Division (1981, L'Epervier Press,) The Lindbergh Half Century (1987, L'Epervier Press,) The Inheritance (1988, Sandhills Press,) and Storm Service (1994, Basfal Books). Basfal also published After Business in the West: New and Selected Poems in August, 1996.