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'January in Montana'

Jennifer Greene

by Jennifer Greene

Light from the sky is precious like sips
of hot tea, a luxury, elite. On my drive
to work, I pass through wetlands filled
with Canadian geese and hawks.
Morning frost drapes the hood
of my car in wet velvet. Fog lifts from
ponds: a lace shawl hugging
curves of the water's edge.

Dead weeds in fields join mounds
of stone sugared under hoarfrost.
Snowflakes fluttering,
inexhaustible lovers waltzing.

It's so easy to get caught up in the moment
that it's hard to focus on what happens
next. Exposure and cold intoxicates
and slurs words together: euphoria, ecstasy.
Many people who die of hypothermia are found naked.
Their bodies believed the illusions.


Jennifer Greene, who is of Salish and Chippewa-Cree descent, is the author of the children’s book Huckleberries, Buttercups and Celebrations, which uses Salish words. She also wrote two award-winning books of poetry, 'What I Keep' and 'What Lasts,' which have earned national and international acclaim. Most recently, Greene was awarded the 2010 MENADA Literary Prize at the Ditët e Naimet festival in Macedonia. "January in Montana" was published in her collection What Lasts.

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