Winter for a Moment Takes the Mind
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Christina Pacosz

has been writing and publishing prose and poetry for nearly half a century and has several books of poetry, the most recent, Greatest Hits, 1975-2001 (Pudding House, 2002). Her work has appeared recently in I-70 Review, Jane’s Stories III, Women Writing Across Boundaries and Pemmican.

Christina has worked as a small-press-book bus driver, a waitress, a library clerk, a carpenter’s apprentice, a poet in the schools, and a teacher. Born and raised in Detroit, she has lived on both U.S. coasts, New York City, Alaska and southern Appalachia. For the past ten years she has been teaching urban Kansas City youth on both sides of the state line; she and her husband of almost twenty years call Kansas City home.

—Back to “Extra” Contents—

One River
for Claire Fejes

A high-hope girl come roundabout
from so far away into a new world,
she fell in love with surging rivers
sundering the earth
and the blue, luminous sky.

But by August the fireweed
had only inches left
to the end of its bloom
and the borough shut off water
in the parks after Labor Day.

Snow fell a week later.
The first storm was a home movie
titled: The Birth of Winter
and she was a woman
tending the Arctic stove,

putting life on simmer, feeding
stick after stick of dead
trees to the fire.
Near where treeline stops
and cold without end begins

raven’s wing brushed
graybellied clouds
and merlin welcomed
the blue hood of winter
pulled over her eyes.

The girl from Midnight stayed up late
and listened to the wind.
She started a new song
about the Underground Railroad.
This is what she wrote:

Farthest north
is never far enough
for some.
Then she hummed a tune
and added a stanza

about the wary fox
making its way to ultima Thule
through drifting snow
by the old, ivory light
of the moon.

[From the chapbook  One River (Pudding House, 2001)]