All posts by Ann Thornfield-Long

Ann Thornfield-Long, a co-author of Tennessee Women of Vision and Courage (edited by Crawford and Smiley, 2013), has poetry in Artemis Journal, The Linnet’s Wings, Riddled with Arrows, Silver Blade, Abyss & Apex, The Tennessee Magazine, Wordgathering, Liquid Imagination and other publications. She won the Patricia Boatner Fiction Award (Tennessee Mountain Writers, 2017) for her novel excerpt “The Crying Room,” and was a finalist for her fiction in the 2017 and the winner in poetry in 2019 in Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Spring Contests. She was nominated for the Pushcart, Best of the Net and Rhysling awards, and awarded a 2017 Weymouth residency. She edited and published a weekly newspaper for six years. She’s a retired nurse and medical first responder.

The Pond in Winter – Poem by Ann Thornfield-Long

The Pond in Winter

            After Henry David Thoreau

 

The winter of ’19, it rained nearly every day,

water gushed from sky, no windshield wiper

equal to it. A slough swelled in the low spot

of the yard, lapped the steps, like a wolf

 

at the door. It was the wolf supermoon that

reflected off the surface one rare, naked night—

quicksilver eerie and lovely as icy solitude,

consoling, clear. A sorrow-voiced owl cried

 

in the pre-dawn, foreshadowing death,

as owls can. Loss spilled over the wall

of my soul and into the crevices where I hid

my treasures, floated them out of their deep

 

secret places onto the banks from underearth

where bluets and bloodroots drank to the dregs

as I would after I saw the land open its mouth

and swallow my love whole, leaving me to choke

 

on the hemlock of grief. I’ll carry the disfigurement

of this flood, a high-water scar the rest of my days.

Not everything, nor everyone survives. Winter

cannot last forever.