the wind comes from the North,
whistles through the marrow,
plays the body like a reed, causes it
to bow like the blades of beach grass
that are already so improbable here.
Mud emerges from hip-deep drifts
of dirty snow.
I want to kneel in it, smear it
all over my skin—
a sacrament to a Spring
I no longer believe exists.
Here, stock is more than simply
a base for a hearty soup.
It is the dark matter of DNA
that allows a species to survive
against all of the forces
that work against it.
Last week, a woman my age
took her own life. Downed
ninety-six odd pills, enclosed
in her car in some unknown parking lot—
windows closed against the wind.
I think of her while I walk the beach.
Ice floes in April. The shore—
a jagged-edged landmark
where only what has been dead,
decayed, and drifting for days
dares to land.
Amy Waugh received her MFA from Iowa State University and transplanted to Northern Minnesota, where she now teaches professional writing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her work has appeared in such journals as Mid-American Review, Cimarron Review, and Flyway: A Journal of Writing and Environment.