“After Winter Solstice” by Judith Skillman

Still it comes early, sun setting over a lake.
It glows as if encaustic, a yellow trance

we embrace. Take the days—holy and dark,
how they fatigue us as they pass, our dance

a term, the “hellidays.” We flirt with age.
Then maybe a day comes when we’re certain

we’re old. How many times around the sun
can a body fly? Tongue-tied, gravitas

and honor small for a painful life lived
without having asked for the privilege.

Nonetheless there’s beauty. Its star hovers
above the water glowing from within.

Too far gone to turn back we become sin-
gular, my pursuit beeswax, yours VR.


JudithSkillmanJudith Skillman is the author of House of Burnt Offerings from Pleasure Boat Studio. She is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in many journals, including FIELD, The Southern Review, and Poetry. Her ‘how to’ is Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. Skillman does collaborative translations of poems from Italian, Portuguese, and French. Visit www.judithskillman.com.

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