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.