Is That Who

among other things
spring’s an undoing of the rite of sleep
when Earth throws off its ice
heaves its cold sheets to the floor
shows itself unkempt,
its tangled forsythia hair,
skin scabbed with matted leaves
needing the scrape of a rake
it’s saturated soil,
it’s pool-pocked landscape
from here to the gangling phone pole
mirror pools which hope of cloudless blue
against a thermometer’s short red gash
the bare filament limbs of birch and ash
reach to grasp above summer’s last leaves
as if, from crown to roots, they’d thought, in fall,
that to let those last go down in ignominy
they’d be mocked by winter months
as having acquiesced to die under soles
of January or December’s boots

an uncovering not unlike our own
when we wake unkempt from a night off somewhere
past imagining, as we will someday permanently be,
to regain the day with a facile toss of covers
as if our nightly lapsed consciousness
was not heaped with mystery

So, couched in poetry
we comb heads
brush mouths and,
immersed in what we do,
splash water on our face
and stare, thinking

is that who

by Jim Culleny


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