O morning of no obligation, morning of frost,
frail and white, clinging like an exoskeleton
to each green blade of grass, O morning
of shuttered blind, drawn drape, locked
door. Here is the key, the missing piece
of puzzle, artifact of what once was
thought lost. The beloved toy. Abandoned
mitten falling in the field. The single sock.
Here is the cardinal, plump and bright
from winter’s rich berry. Here is the star
hanging solo in the middle of the sky,
forgetting to sink back to the same invisible
burn. O Morning, it remains. It stays its blaze
as the sun competes with the attention
of a million gadgets, noises close and distant,
small duties I attempt to accomplish with zeal.
O morning. If you stay a little longer, if I push back
the list for one more hour, if I place my body
to listen close enough and for long enough and
my breath slows down enough and my heart
recedes its beat enough I feel deeply enough
the gravitational push of my own bones’ rotation.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. Author of “Railroad Phoenix,” (Kelsay Books, 2017) her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Softblow, A-Minor Magazine, The Penn Review, The Watershed Review, Radar Poetry and elsewhere. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she holds an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop.