Leaflorn maple hosts a morning blaze
of robins, dozens met to line
their bellies with holly berries
brazen against the fine snow.
They gorge, then rest, gorge again,
forget to sing. On a high bough,
draped like a dropped robe, another’s
opened breast. Each bone a web
of hollows, meant for breath.
Carolyn Oliver is the author of Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble (University of Utah Press, 2022), selected by Matthew Olzmann for the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry. Her chapbooks are Mirror Factory (Bone & Ink Press, 2022), Dearling (dancing girl press, 2022), and Night Ocean (Seven Kitchens Press, forthcoming 2023). Carolyn’s poems appear in The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, Southern Indiana Review, Superstition Review, Shenandoah, 32 Poems, and elsewhere. Her awards include the E. E. Cummings Prize from the NEPC, the Goldstein Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Writer’s Block Prize in Poetry. Carolyn lives with her family in Massachusetts. Her website is carolynoliver.net.