Michelle Matthees

At last, a country large enough to hold melancholy,

the melancholy of a family adjusted to cold,

the cold which dwells at the top of birch trees.

White hair of mother no metaphorical snow

but real, crystalline dreams exhaled into cold,

and the boy with the milk route, returning home

to strip and stand naked before a kerosene heater.

Behind him, distant hours of dawn rise and rise

but do not break. His fatherís breath pops and cracks

amongst the roomís somnambulant trees. The boy

shudders once, while white owls wait in birch trees,

those trees whose shadows forks the pink horizon.

Michelle Matthees' poems can be found in Pank, The Prose Poem Project, The Bellingham Review, and Proof, and her work is forthcoming in 22 Magazine, Cider Press Review, Humber Pie, and Paradise Review. She is a current recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and has received awards in the past from Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, The Jerome Foundation, AWP, and other arts organizations. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's MFA program in Creative Writing, she lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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