Hayden Saunier

Small Poem for
Waking in Winter
by Hayden Saunier

When he rises first, steps downstairs

softly in darkness to stir up the fire, start coffee,

and the dog, who’s slept heavy as my dead

across the end of the bed, rises and follows,

when both cats uncoil from their corners,

rev their small engines to follow

the dog and the man because being cats

they must know every action,

then I slide my whole body to the bed’s exact center,

stretch into an octopus, sea star,

DaVinci’s Vitruvian woman or man,

until with my backbone, I discover the ridge

between valleys two bodies make in a bed

no matter how hard they try

to be one. No matter the mattress, no matter

the love, no matter the years.

I lie still as long as I can, pinned straight through

the heart by gravity and luck

to this bed in this room in these trees by a creek,

night sky turning once more to day.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4

Hayden SaunierHayden Saunier is the author of three poetry collections, Tips for Domestic Travel, Say Luck, which won the 2013 Gell Poetry Prize, and Field Trip to the Underworld, winner of the Keystone Chapbook Award. Her work has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Award, the Rattle Poetry Prize and the Robert Fraser Award. She lives on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (www.haydensaunier.com)

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