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Sunday, March 21, 2021


by Katherine West

March 2021

The birds are singing 
and it isn't snowing 

We have our vaccines 
and schools are open 

It is warm enough to sit outside 
but too cool for forest fires 

In sunny spots brown grasses are turning green
from the inside out 

The cat hasn't shed her winter down
still sits on my lap for warmth

She is my most intimate companion 
on this March afternoon in 2021

I have survived the shipwreck 
that tossed me up on this desert island 

on this alien planet 
this solitary confinement 

for a crime 
I didn't commit 

And although Spring is coming 
I'm cold

I could be old and all 
my relationships memories 

I could be dead 
and all my lovers ghosts 

sitting on the side of my bed 
that empty symbol of sleep

and love 
that flag 

that empty symbol of unity 
at half mast 

Half the time 
the ghosts hold my cold 

hands in their cold hands 
whispering platitudes 

like therapists 
over the phone 

like friends 
on a screen 

They cannot hold me 
They cannot hold me down 

as I drift like old smoke 
old scarves 

as I fray

silk skeins 


as threads 
of red sunset 

resting like raptors 
on the updraft 

like strands
of blood 

and unloved 

Katherine West lives in Southwest New Mexico, near Silver City. She has written three collections of poetry: The Bone Train, Scimitar Dreams, and Riddle, as well as one novel, Lion Tamer.  Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Writing in a Woman's Voice, Lalitamba, Bombay Gin, The New Verse News, Tanka Journal, Splash!, Eucalypt, and Southwest Word Fiesta. The New Verse News nominated her poem "And Then the Sky" for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. In addition she has had poetry appear as part of art exhibitions at the Light Art Space gallery in Silver City, New Mexico and at the Windsor Museum in Windsor, Colorado. Using the name Kit West, Katherine's new novel, When Night Comes, A Christmas Carol Revisited has just been released, and a selection of poetry entitled Raising the Sparks will come out in March of 2021, both published by Breaking Rules Publishing. She is presently at work on the sequel to When Night Comes. It is called Slave, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Revisited. She is also an artist.