This first day of a new year clouds blues skies
visible through the melt of smog, a light drift of noxious air
smelling of burnt things.
We walk the streets, quiet with the serenity
of a Sunday morning, our private skies obscured
by a shadow, left, we know, condemned to death
in life. Law demanded a guillotine stroke,
her heart a bruised fruit coming to rest
against the blade of midnight.
I notice pale green sprouts pushing up
against black earth, their translucent blades glowing,
a promise of spring.
Janet Butler lives in Alameda with Fulmi, a lovely Spaniel mix she rescued while living in central Italy. “Searching for Eden” was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2012, “Upheaval” was one of three winning selections in Red Ochre Lit’s 2012 Chapbook Contest. She recently placed, for the fourth year, in the Berkeley Poets annual poetry contest. She is moderator of the monthly Lit Night at Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda and is a member of the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, where she will teach a poetry course and Italian language class this spring.