Fall Issue 2022
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.