The 2River View 24.2 (Winter 2020)

Phillip Sterling

The B Side of Promise

A chance of rain, they say,
and the loosestrife take
to the woods like harried geese
pouting and nudging the air
as if meaning to speak
from one side of because
or the other, as if the wild
grapes above them were
aerialists of proper renown,
worthy of our admission,
and threat no more than this
sudden and too brief shower.

Little or No Accumulation

Some weather bears gifts
the way those who shun gifts
bear charity. “A mere dusting,”
one says, and the words take
to air like woodstove ash
above moss, neither dust
nor mere, if truth be told.
And still the moon—who cares
nothing for our dispensations
(having known the world
before we called it world)—
will find in snow’s pale flattery
reason enough to shine.

Phillip Sterling is the author of And Then Snow (Main Street Rag, 2017) and Amateur Husbandry (Mayapple 2019). His chapbook of February poems, Short on Days, is forthcoming in early 2020 from Main Street Rag.

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