Near Winter’s End

Maya Roe


I leave with the pail and some dim pretenses.
Boots hardly tied, ravens skip across the marshy lawn.
Compost tossed into the icy barrel, I make my way the bluffs
my slushy bootprints solitary, tired sun in the maples.
Ocean’s smooth today, the cliffs dropping icicles on barnacles.
Ocean’s a clear lens today, staring up at the clouds. So clear
I leave my pail and boots on the clifftop, for all the world
as though I took to the skies. I find my winter body
and climb down the rockface until my soft feet cut the lens.

Chest deep in winter ice, I close my eyes to the waves.

Walking home, stiff hair and toes, sky goldening
over white pines. I give my footprints a sequel.
I come in quiet and shy. You are bowed over the stove,
adding the carrots suns to a nearly full pot, singing.
Your broad back is warm as the future, solid as summer.



Maya Roe is a poet and biologist who currently lives in coastal Maine. Her work has been published in multiple print anthologies and online journals, including the River of Words anthology and the San Francisco Chronicle.