top of page

Anne Britting Oleson



The melt has come on unexpectedly,

breaking the bondage of this cold season.

What it reveals is trash:

grimy snowbanks receding,

uncovering beer cans, cigarette butts,

plastic grocery bags flapping 

from skeletal brambles in the breeze.

A multitude of sins stuck 

in the sudden mud.  At the lip

of Plymouth Pond, two ice shacks—

broken into bits of wood, bent

sheets of metal roofing, a window

with jagged teeth of glass—

lie where they were dragged 

from the rotten ice and abandoned.

The pond, tonight, is sublimating,

ghosts of winter lifting into the evening air.

At the bridge, a narrow creek

of open water:  black, moving, carrying 

the three loons forward into spring.

Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely on four continents.  She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM.  She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). A third chapbook, Planes and Trains and Automobiles, is forthcoming from Portent Press (UK, November 2015), and a novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, is forthcoming from B Ink Publishing in April of 2016.

She Gets Lost in the Tube Map


She takes a left with her eyes

at Green Park and keeps going

on the Piccadilly Line, following

the purple path to someplace

she's never been, or has been

and doesn't recall, which means

the same thing anyway.

North Ealing, perhaps—she doesn't

remember the station, only

the football fans, whose team

must have won that afternoon

they all piled into the car,

drunken, singing lustily,

punctuating the songs with

spirited pounding on ceilings

and doors until the intercom

told them to stop—and they grew louder.

Or Strawberry Hill, early evening,

where all she remembers is the rain

misting the windows, and the heavy air

inside the car, the sudden laughter, 

the swaying girls with their hoop earrings 

and tinny earbuds, and how she felt

disoriented—and vaguely frightened.

Staring now at the circles

on the map, at the things that come back

to her: until she is lost again,

falling through the lines

into the rediscovered world.

bottom of page