After the Blizzard, the Animals


When a fox gets lost in the snow
it stands at attention, cold soldier
                        among the trees.

        When I get lost in the snow
I bow down, ungracefully, saluting limbs
                heavy with the white of morning.

In time, we both grow cold, enough to shiver
                        calories from our bones
in shifts of weight—wait for it, 
I want to say, wait until enough light
                warms the world around us...


This morning I wake up at 5am, look
out my window, see the moon, see a fox
among the trees deep in the snow.

To notice a fox I must spot red, burnt fur
flashes against white, against what I know
to be true—there are only so many ways.

And its tracks lead to nowhere, and
from here I breathe on the window, 
trace the fox, draw a halo, pray for help.


To hunt us, leave behind a trail of rodents, of
                rabbits, lay them lightly
on the bed of snow.

We dine. We chatter. We lift our palms
                        to each other's lips.

The world around us is starving. We're lost
before the net seizes.


Alison Palmer's poems have appeared in FIELD, Poet's Billow, The Bellevue Literary Review, Bear Review and elsewhere. She has poems forthcoming from River Styx and Columbia Poetry Review and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her BA in Creative Writing from Oberlin College. She is an early-morning-journal-writing enthusiast who currently resides outside of Washington, D.C.