Monday, August 22, 2022

Should Our Undoing Come Down Upon Us White

I woke up to dense dog, the world gently white outside the window, and picked up this snowy white book, Should Our Undoing Come Down Upon Us White, by Jill Osier (Bull City Press, 2013), cover painting by Marina Mariya. The first poem suggests it (the poem itself, perhaps the book) won't be telling the whole story, not yet, but that it "is not about loss," a momentary comfort, but maybe it is, or about waiting, or about readiness.

I wasn't ready to spot coincidences on this Blue Monday in the blog, but I found "a dead-blue tulip" in the poem "Last Dream of Flowers."

The poems are quiet and gripping, like a cold and snowy day at the edge of the woods, silence fallen. The title poem begins:

     Even while we talked, snow must have been falling. Now it's a scar:
     I've mostly failed in the rooms

     of honesty and forthrightness.

Then there's the story of a child sledding.

I find myself reading and re-reading these snow-packed or gently drifting poems. I see little flickers of red and flame and skies and fields of snow. In "Flame,":

                                   Your heart, red wax,

     slipped soft from its nail. I shaped it back, and the two of us lay waiting
     in a cabin's draft.

What if you could live in a box, a camera obscura?

     A small, simple box with a tiny hole
     for light to come through,

     make everything clearer?

Or a snow globe? In the middle of the book, in the middle of the poem "Obscura," the scene becomes object suddenly:

     Shaking the scene now, snow falls,
     smoke rising up to meet it.

I am not ready for winter. I am not ready for snow. It is only August. Ah, but those first yellow sweet gum leaves already litter the yard.

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