by Kathryn Jacobs

Still cold enough for gloves. So pushing through

the weeping willow curtains meant bamboo

hung segmented and winter-colored, chains

that swallowed something lumpy – strings of beads

or new-fed boas maybe. Walk-through ropes

of what would soon be willows, feathery,

but which looked more like pastel fingers now:

elongated, arthritic. Like a door

into a warmer universe, you pause,

imagining the shimmer on your face

and naked shoulders, woody grasses pierced

like flutes with birds to whistle them. The lumps

are solid though, like Ovid’s pregnant tree –

and when you push through, nothing changes. March.

Kathryn Jacobs is a medievalist with two books, three chapbooks, no fellowships, no poets-in-residence, and no contest finalists of any kind.