{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Charlotte Mandel

is winner of the 2012 New Jersey Poets Prize.

She has published seven books of poetry, most recently Rock Vein Sky from Midmarch Arts Press.

As an independent scholar, she has published a series of articles on the role of cinema in the life and work of poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle).

Visit her home page.

—Back to Interiority Contents/Issue Links—

Spilled White

Some kinds of beauty require
no labor. The kindness of a snowfall
purifies my yard

until untimely melt
re-stages front and center
what I’d forgot of
drought-killed lawn with, worse,
storm-hacked branch debris.

Nature as cyclical pruner
understands triage—cut
splintery junctures,
save nutrient for roots.

Our bodies don’t have such talent
although Amazon women, they say,
would slice the pillowy swell of a breast
in trade for freed arm muscle.

My mother is departed
and is the world shapelier?

Departures list on timetables.
Does the scheme of my life
stamp a date on my passport?

What invisible monitor assigns
aisle, middle, window?

Shall I board the silent plane or
ski the clouds below
solid as snow.