“Gymnopédies No. 1”

By Adrian Matejka Adrian Matejka
That was the week
            it didn’t stop snowing.

That was the week
             five-fingered trees fell

             on houses & power lines
             broke like somebody waiting

for payday in a snowstorm.
That snow week, my daughter

& I trudged over the broken branches
             fidgeting through snow

             like hungry fingers through
             an empty pocket.

Over the termite-hollowed stump
as squat as a flat tire.

             Over the hollow
             the fox dives into
when we open the back door at night.

That was the week of snow
             & it glittered like every
             Christmas card we could
             remember while my daughter

poked around for the best place
to stand a snowman. One

with a pinecone nose.
             One with thumb-pressed

             eyes to see the whole
picture once things warm up.

Source: Poetry (January 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2014
 Adrian  Matejka


Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He earned his BA from Indiana University and an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), won the 2002 New York / New England Award. His second collection, Mixology (Penguin, 2009), was a winner of the National Poetry Series. Mixology was a finalist for a NAACP . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Nature, Weather, Winter, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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