by Alexander Etheridge
for my grandmother
Listener of windy creeks, she leads her young
through the wind-frosted and desolate steppes—
Love is a furnace in her hooves.
Half frozen, she’d lie flat
with hail piling up, so the strays could follow her pulse back.
Snowy elk, recalling again when
she heard a greenwood note
like little children sounding out names.
Now coming to her end, she thinks of her first calf
born on white and transparent leaves,
and with a cloudward
glance, sees an ancient promise begin to prove itself.
Alexander Etheridge has been developing his poems and translations since 1998. His poems have been featured in Wilderness House Literary Review, Cerasus Journal, The Cafe Review, The Madrigal, Abridged Magazine, Susurrus Magazine, The Journal, and others. He was the winner of the Struck Match Poetry Prize in 1999.