A skein of white snow cuts
barer than January.
Each month: a suffering, a triumph.
we’ve become, like fetching
cold water from a pit with a spoon.
Pinning the long horizon with ice.
The tingle of numbness
is a warning:
there are small dark angels in our fingertips.
The silence of the soul
escaping clean out
like a migration
to warmer climes.
Birds scatter through
the bell-bright curve of light. We can last,
we believe, beyond this
earthy grit of life:
measured this deep, this black.
About “Poem for February”: I wrote this poem several months after Hurricane Isabel had left my family destitute and nearly homeless. I remember standing knee-deep in snow, trying to call distant family on a payphone. “How tired / We’ve become, like fetching / Cold water from a pit with a spoon” refers to the exhausting struggles of poverty, and “Each month a suffering, a triumph” describes being a survivor.
Savannah Thorne graduated from the University of Iowa where she studied in the Writers’ Workshop under many of poetry’s great voices. She also holds two cum laude Master’s degrees. Her poetry has appeared in over thirty literary journals, including Potpourri, The Wisconsin Review, Yemassee, The Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, Parabola, and The Atlanta Review. She recently became managing editor for Conclave: A Journal of Character.