New Year

Last night something
            tunneled through the elms.
 
But at sunrise,
            I found just white light
 
biting my eyelids, salt
            rubbed on a wound.
 
Batons of ice
            fell from power lines,
           
soundless but still emphatic.
            Then the rain
 
churned the snow to soap
            scum, waxing cars with
 
winter’s lichen, patchy
            in the strange
 
uneven fur of newborns.
            And still, I was childless.
 
One cardinal
            lodged on a branch:
 
a blood-drop
            striking water
 
before the slow dispersion.

Dilruba Ahmed, “New Year” from Dhaka Dust. Copyright © 2011 by Dilruba Ahmed. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org.
Source: Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press, 2011)
More Poems by Dilruba Ahmed