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Little Ice Age

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I have one good memory—a total

Eclipse of the sun—when out of brilliance

Dusk came swiftly and on the whole

At seven years it felt good on a summer afternoon

To be outrun by a horse from another century—

The next morning I washed up

On land like a pod of seals

Struck with a longing for dark at noon—

If the cessation of feeling is temporary

It resembles sleep—if permanent, it resembles

A little ice age—and the end of some

Crewelwork by a mother who put honey

Into my hands so the bees would love me.



Source: Poetry (April 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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Little Ice Age

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  • Kathy Nilsson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son. She earned a BA in English Literature from Mount Holyoke College and an MFA in poetry from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and The New York State Writer’s Institute. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Boston Review, Poetry Daily, ColumbiaVolt, and other literary journals. Her chapbook, The Abattoir, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Her manuscript, Black Lemons, was a finalist in the Tupelo First Book Award, and the manuscript The Infant Scholar was selected for Honorable Mention in the Steven’s Poetry Manuscript Competition sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She is a recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Award.

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