How We Can Survive to Winter

Sky sips the blue mist
that collars shriveled leadplant
and raveled web.

The mist doesn’t last,
succumbs to sun’s
first commands.

Purple liatris throw
open their shutters
to tarrying hummingbirds.

Mink and muskrat
cross the river’s rug
from bank to bank.

A high thermal embraces
hawk as if they’d been
desperate for one another.

Winter sent its one word telegram.
To mark the way
big bluestem darkens.

The hawk abandons
the high sky, something moved,
a slight turn, a rush.

Athena Kildegaard is the author of four books of poetry: Ventriloquy, recently released from Tinderbox Editions, Rare Momentum, Bodies of Light (a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award), and Cloves & Honey (a finalist for the Midwest Book Award). She lives in Morris, Minnesota, where she teaches.