Self Portrait with Open Palms and Ice Cubes

by Beth Oast Williams

Opening is what my hands do
to catch what falls from the sky, loose
blossoms in wind, like snow in July.

I hold the baby this way and think
of what an apple looks like when it’s bitten.
What makes me shiver is not always cold.

Heat is coming, and my child is separating
like the sudden shift in seasons. Climate
is not the only change.

The peaks of Norway are melting,
the groan of a glacier like the scream
of a mother greeting, then losing, her first born.

Old ladies knit in the rain, their bent fingers
tying knots with woolen yarn and needles,
as if the lingering sting of ice has long gone.


Beth Oast Williams’s poetry has appeared in West Texas Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Glass Mountain, GASHER Journal, Poetry South, Fjords Review, and Rattle’s Poets Respond, among others. Her poems have been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, Riding Horses in the Harborwas published in 2020.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s