Winter Garden

Julia Johnson

The rafters are falling, pins in the hair, a counted orbit.
How is it the coin, revolutionary smile, creeps in, swallows up?

The first and accurate call not yet heard.

You are forever in the ice, the chairs swivel and swarm,
The mountain lion, a figure cloudy in the bed, transfers himself.

I cannot explain heavy, the air now light or prominent.
I cannot explain tiny waves of varied grays woven into the faraway 
     hedge.

These are the paths, immovable lines, which I cannot see.
The roses are frozen, four upon four, accidental bouquets.

I sit now, bleached sky over the house, in my coat, to listen.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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JULIA JOHNSON, a New Orleans native, was a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she earned her MFA in poetry. Her work appears widely in such journals as Third Coast and New Orleans Review. She is author of Naming the Afternoon (LSU Press, 2002) and teaches at the Center for Writers, The University of Southern Mississippi.