Landscape - Shelley Saposnik

It is a cold March – trees have yet to sprout leaves

Here and there an evergreen lends color to otherwise

Grey and charcoal trunks and branches.

Down the bend handsomes lope along.

Horses hooves

tap concrete and not too far

behind

the smooth unbroken

sound of yellow cabs

slipping through the park.

Across this wide expanse of grass and sky

some student hugging books, stumbles along

cobbled streets

expressing impatience

in the reticence of spring.

(I think of you that day:

You walked alone amid electrified lights that scorched your eyes

You tried to smash the void as if your footsteps could click

Away the seething solitude.

A grey leaf swept its way down from a windowsill

You squeezed it in your palm and heard its last

Brittle attempt to remain whole.

It crackled

You searched the sky for a star, but the buildings were too high

And the lights too bright.

You pulled the trigger, a gun shot out

From the calculating night

You were gone.)

It is a cold March I have seen – last year’s leaves flutter

silently in the wind.

No longer green, they roll across the mud.

There is no beauty in bone-chill

But the barest limb will flower – no longer

angular lines

to tell the shape of things

Fresh leaves will fill the skeletal backbone

to spring forth musings

undreamt of in the wind sweeps

across this bare sight

to April.

Shelley Saposnik studied for her BA at Columbia University where she graduated with honors in English Literature and acquired an M.F.A. at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Recently, she taught Composition, Creative Writing and Modern English Literature at Touro College and E.S.L. at Hunter. Ever since Covid-9, barreled through New York City, Shelley has devoted all her time to writing.

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