Tanner Russo

Morning blossoms out of nothing.  
Snow on Christmas day – just enough  
to lace the grass blades, to encase the  
frigid dogwood, to make our yard 
an oyster of nature’s perfect noel

Day lurches forward on the fuel of its  
own demise – paper scattered, piles 
gathered, eggs and bacon heaped, then gone, 
the whole day a fleeting feast of bounty incapable 
of dispelling hunger, even as we gorge – time to eat
then, inevitably, who’s got clean up?  


A bang at dusk brings me to the storm door. 
A quivering patch of dreamy, delicate blue lies 
bleeding on the porch, lies dying, this mistaken 
bluebird, on the threshold of our world, a downy 
confection of snow slung at our storm door,  
left here to melt.  

Panging pity must be pushed aside.  
A whisper in my father’s ear, the soft 
enclosing orb of his boot-bottom will be 
my gift to you, dying darling. I cannot 
fathom what ecstatic visions bloom for you 
as you flit into that white garden, as darkness 
slowly swallows Christmas day. 

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Tanner Russo is a third-year law student at the University of Virginia School of Law and a graduate of the College of William & Mary. His poems have appeared in Whurk Magazine and The Compassion Anthology.