Moriah Erickson

Minnesota

Empty branches begin to hold birds again.

The strength returns in limbs

as I stretch against the sky, hanging clothes

on the line in the yard.

 

A muddy child wraps around my leg,

laughing, a sound that has not echoed

in months. A dirty hand offers me

a beheaded crocus.

 

I have forsaken the whiskey days of winter,

gut bled for the ever-growing light.

No more fires in the fireplace, no more soot

to blacken everything in our days.

 

Me, this little one, slapped raw

in hope for sheets

that smell of awakening.