“Wyeth’s Helga” by Rachel Kubie

This is the thanks of the wild. In the cold, the roads go empty.
Bright spots of blood appear in the trees
And I am unable to feel sorry, not for the small
Bird-down drifting from the fenced grate,
Or the brown tuft of fur at the oak stump.
Nothing has the innocence to pity, collapsing in the jaws of winter.
Wet dirty hills and bright black trees.
I tie my hair up wet and go out to feel brutal,
Kept like a wind mistress, its high whistle like a lovesong
When the sun is high, and my clothes feel close and hot,
Do I feel any tenderness for those small, soft quick-escaping prey?
I don’t remember. I keep walking the hills.
They grow only more clean and bare.

(Fall 2013)