Medusa Looks Out her Window in January

Dead winter is my season, when trees pose
stiff and naked for the camera,
leafless, but not breathless—
with breath held
in for a moment, they stand
etched in to the sky. It’s comforting
that they never move.
And I’m beginning to think
that there’s beauty even in this,

in these still trees, and this white
moon cut and pasted
to the black paper night,
this moon that never grows or shrinks.
Everything in its light holds
its breath.
And let me tell you
there is more life in this still
held breath than in the madness of spring,
because for just a moment
movement toward death is stopped.

Who knows if we will ever
be able to gather our strength
to take in another breath.
Hold it,
hold it while you can.

Sheryl St. Germain
from her book Let It Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems
Autumn House Press, 2007

used with permission of the poet

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