Judith Ann Levison

The russet red cabin is far from the crumbling house.
It invites privacy and with one window, suffocation.
The shredded curtain lifts from wind, smoky tinges of rag.
Outside the purplish snake berries bunch in bouquets.
Deer glide by, glare, move in trances. A winter’s feast,
But killing is not for today. In his lifetime one woman
With black eyes embraced then exiled him. Deer horns
Hung on the wall talk of dead wanderings. She appears
In the clouds hanging laundry, carrying water,
Staring at him with pity enough to extinguish him. If one
Golden kingdom mattered, it was hers, although her flaws
Would be the fire of his intimate hell. Let it be, hell.

Author's Commentary: While reading Milosz, this poem came to me in its entire form and imagery. I wrote it in five minutes. This rarely happens, but the event seems to produce my best poems.

Judith Ann Levison is of Micmac Indian descent, born and raised in Wiscasset, Maine. Receiving a degree from Mount Holyoke College and my MFA from Hollins College, she now resides in Bucks County, PA. She is widely published in journals and has one chapbook called OAK LEAVES.