Our Work Changed | Poetry | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Our Work Changed


Published May 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated May 20, 2020 at 12:14 p.m.


into the sound of paper being torn

to shreds

our new work commences

with windows thrown open

while scraps fly about

we try but can't catch them

our faces muffled and concealed

our work now is to translate a smile

into something we can do

with our gloved hands

our paper shreds wilt

with the first blooms of spring

snowdrops collapsing back into the ground

our work is to look away

from the thirsty soil and up

into the still bare trees

before the leaves emerge

you can discern which branches

remain alive

we look for a bird

because our work

is no longer to predict the weather

or the bud

but to see the song

as it slips

from a tiny throat

into our new stillness

­— Alison Prine


Alison Prine's debut collection of poems, Steel (Cider Press Review, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Vermont Book Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Five Points, Harvard Review and Prairie Schooner among others. She lives and works in Burlington. Learn more at alisonprine.com.

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