Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Alphabet by Bonnie Proudfoot

Last night the dog went to the window,
rumbled a growl,
then curled up on the rug
at the foot of my bed.
Awake, I heard barred owls,
deep throated, calling.
Come morning, fresh inches of snow,
icicles fringe the porch roof,
sunlight plays them
like a xylophone.

From the kitchen window
the snow seems
so pristine, but head out,
and tracks appear
as if everything was going
somewhere in the dark.
The neighborhood fox crossed the porch,
a doe and fawn pawed up
a bare spot under the birdfeeder,
a rabbit two-stepped
a dotted line from woodshed
to garden fence.

These marks in the snow,
they could be an alphabet.
Night has written the mystery
of itself, now sunlight
melts it all. What it is
isn’t supposed to
belong to me.

Bonnie Proudfoot lives outside of Athens, Ohio. She has published short stories and poetry in a variety of journals. Goshen Road, her first novel, was published in January of 2020 by Ohio University’s Swallow Press, and is long-listed for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

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