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Hard Winter

By Matt Daly

         __ for Naomi

Everywhere I go, people are shouting
at one another, people are shaking

their fists at one another. Everywhere
I go, I see someone knapping

an edge to a stone. I want to begin
to carry a plant from another epoch,

perhaps the Pleistocene, wherever I travel.
I’ll have my friend, who is a potter, shape

the iridium clay from a previous extinction
into a vessel that fits the roots

and the palm of my hand. Everywhere
I go, the plant I carry will always be

in blossom, its fragrance sweet, but not
like those rainforest plants that mimic

rotten flesh. The flower of the plant I carry
will smell like cheap white dress shirt

fresh off the line. The petals will be as fragile
as a man, thin as a photograph and forever

standing before dirty tanks in an otherwise
empty square. I will be surrounded

by honeybees, jostling pistils and stamens
until the dust falls, like powdered sugar,

onto our knuckles and knees, onto our animal
bodies, soft as a tongue. The vibration

of uncountable wings in motion all around me
will cast out the treaded sounds of war.



Listen as Matt Daly reads "Hard Winter."

Added: Wednesday, December 26, 2018  /  From "America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience," (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2018). Used with permission.
Matt Daly

Matt Daly is the author of Between Here and Home (Unsolicited Press) and the chapbook Red State (Seven Kitchens Press), both forthcoming in 2019. He is the recipient of a Neltje Blanchan Award for writing inspired by the natural world and a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the Wyoming Arts Council. His poems have appeared in publications including Pilgrimage, The Cortland Review, and High Desert Journal as well as the Sixteen Rivers Press anthology America, We Call Your Name. Matt makes text-based art independently and in collaboration with visual, performing, and literary artists. He also teaches reflective and creative writing for medical professionals, humanitarian aid workers, college and secondary students, and others interested in the literary arts.

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