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It is dark outside,

and snowing.

The garden white, light climbing skyward.

Dark silhouettes, one of them moves.

A rabbit, eating snow, scratching an itch.

For a time, the leaves are silenced, lying in their soft beds.

I have always thought of fall as a time of dying,

the beginning of stillness.

Look closer.

Leaves, bleeding brightly

and m o v i n g.

How many times do I mistake their skittering –

for a bird,

a mouse,

a squirrel?

All day, I give second glances.

All day, I am delighted by the life in death.

Colleen Sohn



My grief is a hollow

Sometimes inside.

Sometimes out.

A feeling that rises.

A spot on the chair, waiting for me to sit.

Other times, it darts, wild attack from around the corner.

Hell from on high. M e r c i l e s s.

Me sobbing — hideous, maudlin.

It has tender moments, too.

The gentle prodding of memories during sleep.

Soft purrs. Voices. Scents. A taste on the tongue.

It’s true what Daddy says.

The dead N E V E R leave us.

Colleen Sohn



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I wonder

if the earth,

when frozen and unyielding,

scented by the two notes of acrid exhaust and wood smoke,

intends for the thaw to be so glorious.

For every pore to release

days and days of sweetness in one heady gasp,

and for me,

in perfect time,

to venture outside in communion.

I perform my daily ablution,

rhythmic thump and whoosh of scrub brush on concrete bird bath,

a delicate scattering of seed,

while uttering Hello to all that moves and breathes.

My feet gladly squelch

loam that gives and gives –




It is a good question.

Colleen Sohn

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Sunset Walk

Copper light spooling into dusk

and we walked in the crisp of it.

Woolen collar turned

to warm the cool of my neck,

hand tucked in his coat pocket

and laced perfectly together.

We kissed under a thrill of neon

to the zooming of cars.

All before the rain fell.

Colleen Sohn


Smooth as Glass


There was a man, old and withery, yet shirtless and cocky as a surfer.

If a surfer carried a pipe and wore a crown of daisies, that is.

In between rabid pacing and punching at an invisible bag, he screamed.

Screamed about the awful torment of the sea.

How she doesn’t give a shit about anyone but herself.

Roaring and raging and destroying sand castles and

swallowing men whole,

some spat back within an inch of their lives,

countless others never seen again,

save a shoe, laced and protecting a pristine foot.

And boats! His favorite tug gone to toothpicks,

with her never stopping for one god-damned second,

just going and going and going.

Such malice!

Yet, the whole time, the sea was smooth as glass.

Colleen Sohn

p.s. Written with a nod to Bukowski

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