Last night brought a killing frost. I cover our new
plants with plastic so tender roots, stems,
veins within leaves, seeds, all these kept warm
from a cruel May. Spring arises with new life,
filled with promise, yet we hunker down, a world
in mourning, the death of thousands from a virus.
I can almost taste the blood of loss in my mouth,
its bite of uncertainty, even in our own home.
Fear is tangible. Bluebirds surround our feeder.
They bring their young. I scurry in and out
filling and refilling their supply. Our daughter
marries her sweetheart. My birthday comes
and goes. The kittens double in size. We pretend
grief is something that lives in a world far apart.
received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Honolulu University. She is Editor Emeritus and founding poetry editor of Rattle. Two of her books have been entrants for the Pulitzer Prize: Firecracker Red, a powerful collection of poems set squarely in the earth; and Crossing The Double Yellow Line, a journey of sharp turns and hair-pin curves. Her work has appeared in three additional volumes: After I Fall, a collection of four Los Angeles poets; Over To You, an exchange of poems with David Widup; and 13 Los Angeles Poets, the ONTHEBUS Poets Series Number One (Bombshelter Press).
In 2013, Dr. Lee won the grand prize, “Poetry to Aid,” from Humanity Al Falah in Malaysia. Early in 2020, her collection of new and selected poems Queen of Jacks was released by Bombshelter Press. Her work has also been published in numerous literary journals, including Paterson Review, Connecticut Review, Margie, and The American Poetry Review. As a lecturer and teacher, she conducts workshops throughout the United States, and teaches privately. She was born in the year of the dragon.
Author’s website: www.stellasuelee.com