LAURA Sobbot ROSS
My mother is fearful of dark water
and snow. It must be the way
both transform the landscape
of the familiar. Peril—a word pretty
enough to describe the glittery
encasement of winter. Erasure
in a slaughter of cloud-sift; anxiety
no less defined by clot and smatter,
sharp edges going deeper. Beneath
a warm spotlight, my mother would
remember the birds; the same ones
that stunned themselves against our
summer windows, soft beating hearts
with wings. Despite the menagerie
of ice, they’d feast on suet and seed.
Gathering, like my mother’s own dark flock
of thoughts each night on the same old roost.
But what else could you do in a house
full of sons and a wayward daughter?
Children, who’d turn in opposing
compass points and abide the landscape’s
random keeping. Children, my mother
would recall, who’d left their angels
flapping in the drifts and rode the slippery
hills face first on waxed blades.
Laura Sobbott Ross has worked as a teacher and a writing coach for Lake County Schools and was recently named poet laureate for the Lake County Library Systems. Her poetry has appeared in many journals including Meridian, The Florida Review, Blackbird, and Tar River Poetry. She was a finalist for the Art & Letters Poetry Prize and won the Southern Humanities Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Her poetry chapbooks are A Tiny Hunger and My Mississippi. Her third book, The Graffiti of Pompeii, is forthcoming this year.