Dina Friedman

Pulling Dead Leaves in the Time of Coronavirus
by D. Dina Friedman

Too cold to take the geraniums outside.
Today I tried to air the wet alpaca sweater.

It froze to rigor mortis in minutes,
icicles emerging from the dripping sleeves.

The river we walk beside widens in the spring swell.
We greet friends from a distance

arcing our words across the sky
like a well-aimed Frisbee.

I pull dead sticks
from the garden, find under the leaves

daffodil shoots and new white crocuses
I can’t remember planting.

The brain, already, has too many dead leaves.
I bring the sweater back inside

force the hanger into the clamped shut sleeve.
The loneliness of the day unfolds itself

like the deceptive curve of the river
The distance between two points

so short on peopled land. The distance
from those I love, so cavernous.

I flick the geranium detritus into its pot
that still has the egg shells you put there for growth.

The day before isolation draped our shoulders
like a cold, wet sweater

we visited your grave with the woman who hit you
when you crossed the street to run by the river,

pulled out the tough grass together
to better reveal the weathered stone.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 1.

Dina FriedmanD. Dina Friedman has published widely in literary journals and received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. She is the author of one chapbook of poetry, Wolf in the Suitcase, (Finishing Line Press) and two YA novels, Escaping Into the Night (Simon and Schuster) and Playing Dad’s Song (Farrar Straus Giroux). Dina has an MFA from Lesley University and teaches at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Visit her website at http://www.ddinafriedman.com.

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