Waterfall in Winter
because wed walked
all that way to visit
the waterfall kindly
came home with us
whole and trembling
inside our bodies
oh transparent lip
of anticipation and
awful ache of gravity
oh radiant plunge
to foam and tumble
the rivers long laughter
some afterfalls some
quaking smaller pools
then sweet sad singing
shallow over pebbles
plush silence of moss
deep grove of dreaming
out in the darkness
in the welling fog
the deer lay down
the trees forgot us
the careless waterfall
never stopped laughing
Published in Passager, Spring 2001
All poems © Colleen Anderson
More Poems by Colleen Anderson
For over twenty years we have been friends
and enemies and friends again. We four
have coupled and uncoupled, now, in more
configurations than the various fronds
on all these different types of ferns. My hands,
crumbling clods and sifting earth to pour
around the knotted roots, have met with your
hands, and in such diversity of bonds,
they cannot be uncoiled in memory,
but spread beneath our lives, a raveled skein
of joy and sorrow, each of us aware
of something growing that we cannot see.
Our talk is comfortable. It looks like rain.
That would be good. This is a kind of prayer.
Published in the WPFW 89.3 Poetry Anthology, 1992
So Dorothy sent us off to Dolly Sods
with a plastic pint container and a lid
and promises of huckleberry muffins
in the morning. We found them where shed said
we would, in a high and quiet place of spruce
and laurel, bushes as crowded with berries
as a country night with stars. So small. So blue.
Bluer than Prussian, bluer than indigo, bluer than
anything, color that looks right back at you
with the eyes of a long-forgotten, favorite doll.
Tiny as buttons on a dolls dress. So small,
and our fingers grown so clumsy, so fat, so adult.
Picture two middle-aged women, bent over, sweating,
plucking and talking, inhaling spruce and sky.
We grew up together, Julie. You remember
my birthday party the year we both were seven.
Your father used to keep track of us, you told me,
by listening to us, giggling, across the lake.
We didnt even pick a pint of berries,
and of course we stayed too long. The afternoon
went dim. We strayed into a boggy thicket
and lost our way, and blundered in the mud,
and then, like something out of a storybook
with a happy ending, found the path again.
Picture two middle-aged women, hugging and laughing,
telling each other we werent really scared.
We ran straight down the mountain, ran all the way,
huckleberries bouncing in my backpack,
and leapt from rock to rock across Red Creek,
huckleberries jumping up and down for joy.
Published in the Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry, 2000
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