Collateral

by Shannon K. Winston

 
Our highway cut
through Ohio into Michigan,
the Midwest unfolding,
a paper fan, onto corn
and summer. Why
is it you never ask
for what you want?
Sliding shapes gloss
the windshield. Pleasures
of glass. A child, I played
with marbles, consumed
by shifts in optics. Tilt left,
see blue-gray rain
that chills my cheek
before sleep. Shift to the right,
glimpse winter, the pond
where my skates knifed ice.
Cold things mar.
I hid my collection in my bed
beside the seashells I stole
from inside a lamp
in a house on the Atlantic
seaboard. Yes, there were
others too. Sweet
rotting pears I ripped
from trees, a locket,
a single, chipped pearl:
things I snatched
as collateral for my silence,
stored away, learned
to care for, lean into
this world, only a little.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon K. Winston earned her MFA at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Kentucky Review, Gingerbread House, Zone 3, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Her first poetry collection, Threads Give Way (Cold Press), was published in 2010. She teaches in Princeton University’s Writing Program.

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